ARCHIVED — Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations

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Vol. 144, No. 12 — March 20, 2010

Statutory authority

Fisheries Act

Sponsoring department

Department of the Environment

REGULATORY IMPACT
ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issue: Effluent from wastewater systems represents one of the largest sources of pollution, by volume, in Canadian waters. Negative impacts to aquatic ecosystems and to Canadians from harmful substances found in wastewater effluent have been documented domestically and internationally for over 20 years. In Canada, the management of wastewater is subject to shared jurisdiction, which has led to inconsistent regulatory regimes and varying levels of treatment across the country. Treatment levels range from very good in many areas to poor or no treatment, mostly on the coasts. Through various consultation processes, interested parties have consistently indicated the need for all levels of government to develop a harmonized approach to managing the wastewater sector in Canada.

To meet this need, there has been a strong history of consultation and cooperation on the management of wastewater in Canada over the past decade. These consultations culminated in 2009, when the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) endorsed the Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent (CCME Strategy). This strategy facilitates the development of a harmonized approach for the management of wastewater effluent in Canada. To help implement the CCME Strategy, the federal government committed to develop regulations under the Fisheries Act using the national effluent quality standards established in the CCME Strategy.

Description: The proposed Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations (the proposed Regulations) have been developed under the Fisheries Act and would fulfill a commitment under the CCME Strategy for the establishment of national effluent quality standards. These standards represent a secondary level of wastewater treatment or equivalent. The objective of the proposed Regulations is to reduce the risks to ecosystem health, fisheries resources and human health by decreasing the level of harmful substances deposited to Canadian surface water from wastewater effluent.

In addition to the national effluent quality standards, the proposed Regulations also specify the conditions to be met in order to deposit effluent containing deleterious substances, such as requirements concerning toxicity, effluent monitoring, monitoring of the receiving environment and record-keeping and reporting. The deleterious substances specified under the proposed Regulations include biochemical oxygen demanding (BOD) matter, suspended solids (SS), total residual chlorine and un-ionized ammonia.

The proposed Regulations would apply to any wastewater system that has a capacity to deposit a daily effluent volume of 10 m3 or more from its final discharge point and that deposits a deleterious substance to surface water. (see footnote 1) The proposed Regulations would not apply to any wastewater system located in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and north of the 54th parallel in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, as further research is required to set appropriate standards for the extreme climatic conditions found in those areas.

An owner or operator of a wastewater system depositing effluent not meeting the national effluent quality standards would be able to apply for a transitional authorization. It would establish the conditions under which such a system may continue to operate and would set the risk-based timeline to meet the national effluent quality standards. Wastewater systems posing a high risk would be required to meet the effluent quality standards within 10 years; those posing a medium risk, within 20 years; and those posing low risk, within 30 years.

The proposed Regulations would come into force through a phased approach. Effluent monitoring requirements, record-keeping and reporting requirements, and the provisions allowing for temporary or transitional authorizations to be applied for and issued would come into force on the day on which the proposed Regulations are registered. The requirement to meet the effluent quality standards would come into force 24 months following the registration of the proposed Regulations, with the exception of the standard for total residual chlorine, which would come fully into force over three years.

Cost-benefit statement: A cost-benefit analysis reveals that the proposed Regulations would likely result in significant net benefits nationally, even with only a partial quantification of benefits. While the estimated costs of the proposal are significant (in the order of $5.9 billion in discounted 2010 dollars), the overall quantified benefits are almost three times this amount, totalling $17.6 billion. This results in a benefit to cost ratio of almost 3:1 for the country as a whole.

The majority of the costs of the proposed Regulations would be borne by municipalities, as they own and operate the vast majority of wastewater systems in Canada. These include capital and operating costs for systems that need upgrading to meet the required standards. Non-capital costs would also be incurred, including monitoring and reporting costs, and in some cases environmental monitoring costs. Combined, all of the costs total $5.9 billion in present value terms.

There are numerous benefits to improved wastewater effluent quality. These include healthier fish and aquatic ecosystems, increased recreational use, higher property values, reduced health risks from recreational contact with and consumption of fish, reduced water supply costs for municipalities and industry, increased commercial fisheries use, and increased value placed on ecosystem and water quality by individuals and house-holds for the benefit of both current and future generations.

It is difficult to quantify these benefits, so two measures that could be applied broadly to communities across Canada were selected. These include the willingness to pay for improved water quality and the property value increases linked to improved water quality. The total willingness to pay for communities that would need to upgrade their wastewater systems across Canada is estimated to be $3.2 billion in present value terms. The total property value increases that would likely result are estimated to be worth $14.4 billion in present value terms. Note that these two methods only provide a partial measure of the full benefits of the proposed Regulations. There are many benefits that cannot be quantified with the available information, such as the impact of increased access to shellfish harvesting areas or the impacts of local tourism. Thus, the total benefits are expected to be even higher than those presented here.

Business and consumer impacts: Businesses and consumers may face higher taxes or utility rates to help pay for the costs associated with the required capital upgrades in a number of communities. There is insufficient information available to the federal government to predict the potential magnitude of such increases. However, as public infrastructure is funded through a variety of sources, impacts on businesses and consumers in particular communities are expected to be relatively small. Governments have also agreed to explore alternatives for very small communities to address the proposed regulatory requirements in an efficient manner.

To limit the administrative burden of the proposed Regulations, Environment Canada would develop an electronic reporting tool for use by all regulators and regulatees. This tool would enable reports to be submitted and tracked electronically.

In terms of competitiveness impacts, improved water quality from the proposed Regulations would result in a number of benefits: improvements in water quality would be expected to have a positive impact on the fishing and seafood industry, valued at $5 billion in 2005; it would serve to reduce contaminant-related harvest closures in the shellfish industry, valued at $1.5 billion in 2008; and it could help remove barriers to markets for seafood, e.g. mussel exports from Eastern Canada. Benefits would also likely include fewer beach closures and an increased ability of Canadians and visitors to enjoy water-based recreation throughout Canada. This would positively impact the tourism industry, which represents approximately 2% of Canada’s GDP.

Domestic and international coordination and cooperation: The proposed Regulations include national baseline standards for effluent deposited from wastewater systems across the country. These effluent standards would bring Canada generally in line with standards adopted in both the United States and the European Union.

The proposed Regulations could enhance coordination between Canada and the United States with respect to transboundary water quality. This would be especially true in the Great Lakes, where Canada and the United States are party to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which includes commitments for both countries to cooperate on the clean up of industrial effluent and wastewater effluent.

The proposed Regulations could also enhance cooperation and coordination with the global community. Wastewater effluent is one of the key issues under the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities (GPA), which Canada adopted in 1995 and responded to with its own National Programme of Action (NPA). The proposed Regulations would help respond to the NPA on this issue.

Performance measurement and evaluation plan: A performance measurement and evaluation plan has been prepared for the proposed Regulations. It outlines the outcomes that would be measured and evaluated to assess the performance of the proposed Regulations. A key outcome is the regulated community being in compliance with the proposed requirements. Another would be that national effluent quality standards are achieved within prescribed timelines and are maintained. The overall outcome would be that risks to ecosystem health, fisheries resources and human health are reduced.

These outcomes would be evaluated in phases to capture the effectiveness of the development and implementation of the proposed Regulations. Proposed effectiveness indicators include the percentage of the regulated community that is in compliance with the limits for effluent quality. The reduction in loadings of deleterious substances, as defined under the proposed Regulations, would also be used to evaluate these outcomes and would be determined annually.

Reporting on the progress and performance of the proposed Regulations would occur through Departmental Performance Reports. Annual reports, based on the routine reporting required by the proposed Regulations, would also be produced and made publicly available. With respect to the assessment of the overall effectiveness of the implementation of the proposed Regulations, Environment Canada would work with the departmental Head of Evaluation to determine the scope of the evaluation, as well as the appropriate timing. Environment Canada would also report on the overall outcomes of environmental effects monitoring studies.

Issue

Effluent from wastewater systems represents one of the largest sources of pollution, by volume, in Canadian waters. Negative impacts to aquatic ecosystems and to Canadians from harmful substances found in wastewater effluent have been documented domestically and internationally for over 20 years. In Canada, the management of wastewater is subject to shared jurisdiction, which has led to inconsistent regulatory regimes and varying levels of treatment across the country. Treatment levels range from very good in many areas to poor or no treatment, mostly on the coasts. Through various consultation processes, interested parties have consistently indicated the need for all levels of government to develop a harmonized approach to managing the wastewater sector in Canada.

Wastewater effluent has been shown to have a variety of harmful impacts on ecosystem health, fisheries resources and human health in Canada. (see footnote 2) Ecosystem impacts can include fish kills; algal blooms; the destruction of habitat from sedimentation, debris, and increased water flow; and short- and long-term toxicity from chemical contaminants; along with the accumulation and magnification of chemicals at higher levels of the food chain. Human health risks can also stem from the release of untreated or inadequately treated wastewater effluent. In some circumstances, it could contaminate drinking water sources with bacteria, protozoans, (see footnote 3) and several other toxic substances. Canadians may also be put at risk from consuming contaminated fish and shellfish and engaging in recreational activities in contaminated waters. In terms of fisheries resources, wastewater effluent can, for instance, limit the full potential of the Canadian shellfish industry, an industry with sales of $1.5 billion per year, by contributing to the closure of harvesting areas. It can also impact tourism by contributing to lost recreational opportunities resulting from beach closures and restrictions on other beneficial water uses. (see footnote 4)

The impacts of wastewater effluent largely depend on several site-specific factors. These include the volume of effluent discharged; the level of treatment and resulting effluent quality; the characteristics of the receiving environment; and climatic conditions. However, the sheer volume of wastewater effluent being discharged to Canadian surface water from over 3 700 wastewater systems, conservatively estimated at 6 trillion litres per year, also raises concern. (see footnote 5) For instance, over 150 billion litres of this is likely untreated. Thus, improving wastewater effluent quality would help ensure that Canada’s precious fisheries and water resources are preserved and protected now and in the future.

Towards this goal, there has been a strong history of consultation and cooperation on the management of wastewater in Canada over the past decade. This culminated in 2009, when the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) endorsed the Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent (CCME Strategy). This strategy facilitates the development of a harmonized approach for the management of wastewater effluent in Canada. To help implement the CCME Strategy, the federal government committed to developing regulations under the Fisheries Act using the national wastewater effluent quality standards established in the CCME Strategy. The proposed Wastewater System Effluent Regulations (the proposed Regulations) would respond to that commitment.

Objectives

The objective of the proposed Regulations is to reduce the risks to ecosystem health, fisheries resources and human health by decreasing the level of harmful substances deposited to Canadian surface water from wastewater effluent. To achieve the objective, the proposed Regulations would set national effluent quality standards that would require secondary wastewater treatment, or equivalent, in wastewater systems (see footnote 6) across Canada.

This objective is expected to be fully achieved through risk-based implementation timelines that extend over 30 years. However, a significant proportion of wastewater systems not currently meeting the standards are anticipated to be high risk. These would be required to meet the standards within 10 years. This approach provides time for owners and operators of systems requiring infrastructure upgrades to plan, finance, and implement cost-effective measures to meet the required standards.

Description

The proposed Regulations have been developed under the Fisheries Act and would set national effluent quality standards for specified deleterious substances in effluent deposited from wastewater systems. They also specify the conditions to be met in order to deposit effluent containing deleterious substances, such as requirements concerning toxicity, effluent monitoring requirements, receiving environment monitoring requirements, and record-keeping and reporting requirements.

Application

The proposed Regulations would apply to any wastewater system that has a capacity to deposit a daily volume of effluent of 10 m3 or more from its final discharge point and that deposits a deleterious substance to surface water. The proposed Regulations would not apply to any wastewater system located in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and north of the 54th parallel in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador. A window of up to five years was provided in the CCME Strategy to undertake research to set appropriate standards for the extreme climatic conditions found in those areas. Discharges from separate storm sewer systems would not be covered under the proposed Regulations given these are not wastewater systems.

Deleterious substances

Deleterious substance is defined in subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act. (see footnote 7) In summary, a deleterious substance is something that would degrade or alter the quality of water so that it is rendered deleterious to fish or fish habitat or to the use of fish by people. The deleterious substances specified under the proposed Regulations include biochemical oxygen demanding (BOD) matter, suspended solids (SS), total residual chlorine and un-ionized ammonia. The proposed effluent quality standards for these substances are as follows:

  • average carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD) due to the quantity of BOD matter in the effluent of less than or equal to 25 mg/L;
  • average concentration of suspended solids in the effluent of less than or equal to 25 mg/L;
  • average concentration of total residual chlorine in the effluent of less than or equal to 0.02 mg/L; and
  • maximum concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the effluent of less than 1.25 mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N), at 15°C ± 1°C.

The average CBOD and average concentrations of suspended solids and total residual chlorine are based on quarterly or monthly averages depending on the annual average daily volume of effluent deposited from the final discharge point of the wastewater system.

These effluent quality standards are indicative of a secondary level of treatment, or equivalent. Such a level of treatment removes over 95% of the total mass of conventional pollutants in wastewater (i.e. BOD matter, suspended solids and nutrients). Significant amounts of non-conventional pollutants and bacteria that may be present are also removed through such treatment.

Transitional and temporary authorizations

An owner or operator of a wastewater system depositing effluent not meeting the national effluent quality standards for CBOD and/or suspended solids upon registration of the proposed Regulations may apply for a transitional authorization within 18 months. Transitional authorizations would establish the conditions under which such a system may continue to operate and would set the risk-based timeline to meet the national effluent quality standards. This approach considers the characteristics of the system’s effluent, the receiving environment and, if applicable, characteristics of overflow locations from combined sewers. (see footnote 8) Wastewater systems posing a high risk would be required to meet the effluent quality standards within 10 years, those posing medium risk within 20 years, and those posing low risk within 30 years.

The proposed Regulations also provide a mechanism to apply for temporary authorizations. One type of temporary authorization would authorize the deposit of un-ionized ammonia at a concentration in excess of the proposed standard under specific circumstances, including receiving environment considerations. The other temporary authorization would be to authorize the bypassing of effluent under certain circumstances, such as planned maintenance or construction activities.

Effluent monitoring

Effluent monitoring and reporting requirements are also specified under the proposed Regulations. Owners or operators of wastewater systems would be required to install, maintain and calibrate monitoring equipment and to monitor the volume and the composition of the effluent. The proposed Regulations prescribe minimum sampling frequencies and the type of sample to be collected based on the annual average daily volume of effluent deposited. Systems that deposit larger annual average daily volumes of effluent would be required to monitor more frequently than those with smaller volumes.

Receiving environment monitoring

Environmental effects monitoring (EEM) requirements are also included under the proposed Regulations. These requirements are intended to help evaluate the effectiveness of the effluent quality standards in protecting fish and fish habitat. The requirements include water quality and biological monitoring studies that would be required to be conducted by approximately 200 wastewater systems that meet the effluent quality standards and the criterion of a risk-based test. The EEM requirements would last for a period of up to 13 years or four cycles of monitoring, depending on the results of the initial cycles. Wastewater systems demonstrating no impacts in two consecutive cycles would no longer be required to conduct monitoring.

Reporting and record keeping

The proposed Regulations would require that monitoring reports be sent on a quarterly basis to the federal Minister of the Environment. Records, copies of reports and any supporting documents, as prescribed in the proposed Regulations, would be required to be kept for at least five years at the wastewater system or at any other place in Canada where they could be inspected. Information pertaining to monitoring equipment would need to be kept for at least five years after the useful life of the monitoring equipment, and the identification report, as it may be updated, would need to be kept for at least five years after the wastewater system is decommissioned.

Deposits out of the normal course of events

Notification and reporting of deposits out of the normal course of events are addressed in the proposed Regulations. Requirements for notifying and reporting on such deposits are specified. The owners and operators of all wastewater systems would be required to prepare a response plan to prevent any deposit of a deleterious substance out of the normal course of events from the wastewater system into surface water.

Coming into force

Elements of the proposed Regulations would come into force at different times. Effluent monitoring requirements, record keeping, and reporting requirements, as well as the provisions allowing for temporary or transitional authorizations to be applied for and issued would come into force on the day on which the Regulations would be registered. The requirement to meet either the national effluent quality standards for BOD matter, suspended solids, and un-ionized ammonia, or the limits for those substances as authorized through transitional authorizations, would come into force 24 months after the day on which the Regulations would be registered. The requirement to meet the effluent quality standard for total residual chlorine would come into force 24 months after the day on which the Regulations would be registered for wastewater systems that deposited 5 000 m3/day or more in the previous year and would come into force on January 1, 2014, for all other wastewater systems.

Implementation

Under the CCME Strategy, administrative agreements between the federal government and individual jurisdictions (i.e. the provinces and the Yukon) are expected to be put in place to ensure the efficient implementation of the proposed Regulations. These would clarify roles and responsibilities with respect to administrative functions such as compliance promotion and enforcement activities. Further details on the implementation of the proposed Regulations are provided under the Costs to governments and the Implementation, enforcement and service standards sections below.

Background

Wastewater systems vary in terms of design, depending on such things as the specific needs of communities, the quantity and quality of wastewater to be treated, and financial considerations. The treatment from such systems can be generally categorized into three levels — primary, secondary, or tertiary (advanced) treatment. All of these levels of treatment typically begin with a preliminary screening to remove large solid objects, debris, and grit. Primary treatment is the most basic form of treatment that relies on a mechanical process to physically separate suspended solids from the water. Secondary treatment utilizes biological processes to remove additional solids from the water. Tertiary treatment is more advanced and generally is used to target specific substances of concern or to achieve a particular level of desired effluent quality. It can be accomplished using a number of physical, chemical or biological processes (e.g. carbon filters, reverse osmosis).

Municipalities own and operate the majority of wastewater systems in Canada. (see footnote 9) Wastewater systems are also owned and operated by provinces, territories, federal departments, agencies and other entities. Public-private management arrangements also exist in Canada, and they usually involve private sector operation and public sector ownership of wastewater systems. In addition, relatively few small wastewater systems serve private sector interests.

Despite the increase in public infrastructure investment over the past decades, Canada’s wastewater systems are aging. A large percentage of these were constructed in the 1960s and, as of 2007, it was estimated that many facilities had passed over 60% of their useful life nationally. (see footnote 10) Thus, significant new investment will be required for this sector in the near future.

The number of Canadians receiving wastewater treatment has increased substantially since 1983, when approximately 70% of the population on sewers was served by some form of treatment. (see footnote 11) There are now over 3 700 wastewater systems in Canada and, according to Environment Canada’s 2007 Municipal Water Use Report, more than 28 million people living in 1 294 municipalities were being served by wastewater collection and treatment in 2004. (see footnote 12) Of these, 68% were receiving at least secondary treatment (47% secondary mechanical and 20.9% advanced treatment), 23% were receiving primary treatment and 6% were served by stabilization ponds. In spite of this progress, many parts of the country continue to discharge untreated wastewater into Canadian waters. Nationally, 3.2% of the population served by sewer systems had no treatment for their wastewater effluent.

Additionally, the degree of wastewater treatment varies greatly across Canada. For instance, there are much lower treatment levels for releases to coastal waters than inland fresh waters. As reflected in Figure 1, three of the Atlantic provinces and Quebec have less than 50% of their population served by sanitary sewer systems with secondary treatment or better. Additionally, British Columbia has approximately 36% of its served population receiving less than secondary treatment. Conversely, inland provinces such as Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have 99%, 98% and 89% of their served population discharging to systems with secondary wastewater treatment, respectively. (see footnote 13)

Figure 1 — Canadian wastewater performance, 2004 (see footnote 14)

Wastewater Performance

Wastewater management in Canada

The management of wastewater involves all levels of government in Canada. Effluent from wastewater systems in Canada must comply with applicable federal legislation including the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) and the Fisheries Act, as well as applicable provincial, territorial or water board legislation, permits or licenses. Due to this shared jurisdiction, the existing regulatory regimes have varying requirements that in many cases are not consistent.

Requirements in other jurisdictions

United States

In the United States, the Clean Water Act requires a minimum of secondary treatment at municipal wastewater treatment plants. In addition, permits are allocated to wastewater treatment facilities, placing limits on discharge and requiring monitoring and reporting.

European Union

The European Union has set similar standards to those that are in place in the United States. However, in the European Union, specifications apply depending on the size of the community. All communities having more than 15 000 people are required to use a minimum of secondary treatment of wastewater, or the equivalent thereof.

Current policy context

The proposed Regulations have been developed through a process that builds on a history of consultation over the past decade on the management of wastewater effluent in Canada. For instance, Environment Canada presented a risk management strategy for wastewater effluent during consultation sessions held in the fall of 2002. Stakeholder feedback indicated strong support for a harmonized approach to wastewater management, which included implementing preventive or control actions for pollutants and contaminants in wastewater and a federal-provincial-territorial agreement on the management of wastewater effluent. Many interested parties stated their desire for regulations under the Fisheries Act to clarify the current requirement of the prohibition on the deposit of deleterious substances. Subsection 36(3) general prohibition prohibits anyone from depositing or permitting the deposit of a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish, or in any place under any conditions where the deleterious substance, or any other deleterious substance that results from the deposit of the deleterious substance, may enter any such water.

Environment Canada subsequently developed preventive actions for chlorine and ammonia. On December 4, 2004, the Minister of the Environment published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, a Notice requiring the preparation and implementation of pollution prevention plans for inorganic chloramines and chlorinated wastewater effluents (the Notice) and a Guideline for the release of ammonia dissolved in water found in wastewater effluents (the Guideline) under CEPA 1999. The Notice and the Guideline outlined performance objectives for chlorine and ammonia, respectively, applicable to wastewater effluent. These instruments were selected to respond to the requirements of CEPA 1999, for substances added to Schedule 1, with the recognition that these substances would be further addressed as part of a harmonized approach to wastewater management.

In 2003, the CCME agreed to begin the development of a harmonized approach for the management of wastewater. The CCME Strategy addresses issues related to wastewater system effluent quality and quantity and its associated risk. Governance as well as cost and funding issues were also considered. This work culminated in the endorsement of the CCME Strategy by the Council of Ministers on February 17, 2009.

To outline the actions the Government of Canada proposed to take to implement the CCME Strategy, Environment Canada developed the October 2007 consultation document titled Proposed Regulatory Framework for Wastewater. (see footnote 15) A key element of the proposed framework was the development of wastewater effluent regulations under the Fisheries Act.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

Several regulatory and non-regulatory measures were considered. These are discussed below.

Status quo

Under the status quo, subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act prohibits anyone from depositing or permitting the deposit of a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish, or in any place under any conditions where the deleterious substance, or any other deleterious substance that results from the deposit of the deleterious substance, may enter any such water. This current prohibition is not always aligned with the regulatory regimes of the provinces and territories. It has resulted in various levels of wastewater treatment across Canada which means that Canadians do not necessarily enjoy similar levels of benefits. These benefits, for both current and future generations, include increased recreational use, higher property values, reduced health risk from recreational contact and consumption of fish, reduced water supply costs for municipalities and industry, increased commercial fisheries use, and an increased value placed on ecosystem and water quality by individuals and households. A harmonized approach to the risk management of wastewater, including a baseline for effluent quality, is needed to manage the risks to ecosystem health, fisheries resources and human health posed by harmful substances being deposited in Canadian surface water from wastewater effluent. The status quo has not achieved this objective and therefore was not considered appropriate.

Voluntary measures

Voluntary measures were considered for the management of wastewater effluent. Along with the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, voluntary tools such as guidelines or codes of practice could be structured under government authority. The main concern with these tools is their effectiveness in achieving the risk management objective. A voluntary measure is unlikely to result in a consistent effluent quality equivalent to that achieved by secondary level wastewater treatment as set out in the proposed Regulations. For example, the Guidelines for Effluent Quality and Wastewater Treatment at Federal Establishments have been in place for federal facilities since 1976; however, the results have varied. Therefore, voluntary measures were not considered appropriate.

Market-based instruments

Market-based instruments were considered, but not adopted due to a lack of suitability. For instance, permit trading is most effective when covering deposits to a single receiving environment (e.g. a specific water body or watershed). This avoids cases where excessive releases are allowed in one region over another. Since the proposed Regulations are intended to help address the current lack of consistency in wastewater treatment levels across Canada and provide improved clarity for the sector through the establishment of common national performance standards, such a market-based system was not considered to be appropriate in this case.

Regulatory measures

Regulations were considered to be the best option for achieving the objective of reducing the risks to ecosystem health, fisheries resources and human health posed by wastewater effluent. Regulations that set limits resulting in effluent quality equivalent to that of secondary level wastewater treatment would achieve this objective. The Fisheries Act allows for the establishment of such regulations that permit the deposit of deleterious substances to specified levels. Regulations would also implement the Government of Canada’s commitment in the CCME Strategy to establish national standards for wastewater effluent in federal regulations. The limits on the deleterious substances would be nationally consistent and enforceable. Adherence to these limits would result in reduced levels of harmful substances being discharged to surface water from wastewater systems in Canada. Without a nationally consistent regulatory approach, it would be much more difficult to ensure that all Canadians enjoyed a similar level of protection for their water resources. As such, the proposed Regulations have been developed to achieve the desired objective.

Benefits and costs

The development of the proposed Regulations included an analysis of the likely significant impacts of the initiative. The assessment included a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) that quantified, to the extent practical, the potential costs and benefits of the regulatory proposal. It also highlighted potential distributional impacts. Risk analysis was also conducted to assess how sensitive the results were to changes in key variables. The results of the overall impact analysis are presented below.

Impact analysis approach

The cost-benefit analysis methodology used to assess the proposed Regulations was based on a framework established in a study conducted for the CCME as part of the background work undertaken for the development of the CCME Strategy. (see footnote 16) This framework was then adjusted and applied on a national scale in order to assess the specific scope and requirements of the proposed Regulations.

The basic approach involved first identifying the wastewater systems that would need to be upgraded to meet the proposed national effluent quality standards and estimating the cost of the upgrades. The likely environmental benefits resulting from the upgrades were then identified and put in dollar terms (i.e. monetized) to the extent practical given the available information. Two measures were used to quantify the benefits — willingness to pay (WTP) and property value increases. Other costs associated with the proposed Regulations were also assessed, such as administrative costs to wastewater system operators and costs to governments. All of the monetized costs and benefits were discounted to 2010 dollars using an 8% discount rate, and the net benefits were calculated. Various distributional impacts were also assessed.

Information for the analysis was provided by the CCME’s Economics and Funding Task Group (EFTG). (see footnote 17) In 2006, it collected data from all of the jurisdictions involved in developing the CCME Strategy (i.e. provinces, territories, and the federal government). Part of the information collected included data on the individual facilities that would need upgrading in each jurisdiction, as well as a preliminary risk-ranking score indicating whether each facility likely represents a high, medium or low risk to the receiving environment. The total number of facilities identified as needing upgrading to meet the proposed national effluent quality standards and their associated risk rankings are summarized in Table 1 below.

Table 1 — National ranking of wastewater facilities in Canada

Jurisdiction

Number of Facilities Requiring Upgrades Based on National Ranking System

Low Risk 2040

Medium Risk 2030

High Risk 2020

Total

Alberta

6

40

2

48

British Columbia

0

5

8

13

Manitoba

0

81

0

81

New Brunswick

13

44

0

57

Newfoundland and Labrador

0

1

185

186

Nova Scotia

9

37

16

62

Ontario

102

4

3

109

Prince Edward Island

17

7

0

24

Quebec

0

154

33

187

Saskatchewan

0

29

1

30

Yukon

0

1

1

2

Federal

0

0

150

150

Total

147

403

399

949

As can be seen in the above table, high-risk facilities represent almost half of the total number of wastewater facilities expected to need upgrading. Under the proposed risk-based timelines, these would need to meet the national effluent quality standards included in the proposed Regulations by 2020.

Main results

Monetizing all values in the quantified analysis and discounting to 2010 dollars enables an assessment of whether the quantified benefits of the proposed Regulations are likely to exceed the costs. The results of this are presented in Table 2 below.

As the table shows, the quantified benefits of the proposed Regulations exceed the costs by a considerable margin on a national level. They result in a net benefit of approximately $11.7 billion for the country as a whole. This represents a benefit to cost ratio of 3:1, which means that the quantified benefits of the proposed Regulations are almost three times that of the costs on a national basis.

Table 2 — Benefits to costs ratio

Total benefit

$17,636,388,040

Total cost

$5,937,803

Benefit/Cost

3:1

Further details on the costs, benefits, and net benefits are provided in the following sections.

Costs

The costs associated with the proposed Regulations generally fall under two categories. The first would be costs incurred by owners and operators of wastewater systems, while the second would be costs incurred by governments charged with implementing the proposed Regulations. Each is described below.

Wastewater system costs

The majority of the wastewater system costs would be borne by municipalities, as they own and operate the vast majority of the wastewater systems in Canada. Costs would include capital costs for wastewater systems needing upgrades to meet the national effluent quality standards. These were provided by the jurisdictions to the CCME’s EFTG in 2006. In addition, estimates of operating and maintenance (O&M) costs, as well as other non-capital costs for monitoring and reporting requirements, were generated or taken from the CCME development work, as appropriate for the proposed Regulations.

The total costs to wastewater system owners and operators are estimated to be $5.9 billon discounted to 2010 dollars. Capital costs would be expected to be approximately $3.2 billion, O&M around $1.9 billion, and other non-capital costs $777 million.

Other non-capital costs include monitoring and reporting costs, as well as environmental effects monitoring costs for the sub-set of systems that would be required to undertake environmental monitoring. The majority of the other non-capital costs would be for monitoring and reporting, with EEM costs amounting to only about $80,000 per system. Monitoring equipment costs would also be incurred where such equipment is not already in use, which would be primarily in the case of small systems. However, these costs (estimated at $2,500 for each small system) do not have a significant impact on the total.

Cost to governments

The other main costs that would likely be directly incurred as a result of the proposed Regulations would be borne by governments responsible for their implementation. These administrative costs are characterized into three main categories including compliance promotion, enforcement, and EEM.

The total cost to governments to implement the proposed Regulations would be $28.1 million. This is the present discounted value of the stream of costs in 2010 dollars. Approximately 75% of these costs would be borne by the provinces and the Yukon, with the remainder by the federal government. The total includes $17.7 million for compliance promotion activities, which would include workshops, outreach, responding to enquiries, performance measurement management and other administrative costs. Enforcement costs would total $6.7 million.

Enforcement activities would include inspections for all systems in Canada over the period and re-inspections of those that initially are found to be not in compliance. Other costs include lab analysis, travel and other administrative costs. The remaining $3.6 million represents costs that would be incurred by the federal government for EEM administration and the cost to develop and operate an electronic reporting system to be used by governments and wastewater system operators for the input and tracking of information required under the proposed Regulations.

Note that for the purposes of the analysis, the expected implementation costs of the proposed Regulations are captured to give a sense of what the proposed Regulations would require administratively. However, it is anticipated that implementation of the proposed Regulations would fit in with ongoing regulatory activities within all of the jurisdictions. These activities ebb and flow as regulations pass from periods of high activity to lower activity over time. Thus, it is anticipated that existing resources should be sufficient to implement the proposed Regulations over the time period considered, and no additional funding would be sought.

Benefits

Improving wastewater treatment levels in Canada would have significant and wide-ranging benefits throughout the country. The national effluent quality standards included in the proposed Regulations would require the over 3 700 wastewater systems in Canada to provide at least a secondary treatment level or equivalent. Over a quarter of these are expected to need upgrading in order to meet this standard. As a result, pollution in Canada’s waterways would be reduced, leading to a number of important benefits for ecosystems, aquatic organisms and for the health of Canadians. The quantified benefits are described and then monetized to the extent practical below.

Non-monetized benefits

Upgrading wastewater systems in Canada currently not meeting the national effluent quality standards included in the proposed Regulations would lead directly to a reduction in the mass of pollutants being deposited to surface water. It is estimated that biochemical oxygen demanding matter, which depletes available oxygen in water, would be reduced by 55 156 metric tonnes. The resulting increase in dissolved oxygen would improve biodiversity in the aquatic environment. Suspended solids, which cloud water, limit the effectiveness of disinfectants and can lead to the blanketing of spawning grounds, would be reduced by a total of 66 651 metric tonnes. Total phosphorous would be reduced by 5 041 metric tonnes. This and other nutrients can lead to excessive plant growth and algae blooms in water, which can foul beaches and suffocate aquatic life, including fish. Total ammonia would be reduced by 16 930 metric tonnes. Reduced total ammonia levels improve dissolved oxygen levels in water, and the accompanying reductions in un-ionized ammonia reduce the toxic effects of wastewater deposits on fish and shellfish.

Limits for total residual chlorine (TRC) are also part of the national effluent quality standards in the proposed Regulations. However, insufficient information is available to estimate the TRC loading reductions that would result from the wastewater system upgrades. Nevertheless, benefits would be expected as the TRC that remains in wastewater effluent has the potential to cause toxic or harmful effects to aquatic life, even at very low concentrations. For instance, TRC in wastewater effluent can be lethal to fish and can cause changes in the structure of benthic invertebrate communities. (see footnote 18) Other effects on fish include damage to the gills and nervous system. (see footnote 19) Some forms of TRC have the potential to also impact public health (e.g. trihalomethanes), but human exposure to TRC in wastewater effluent should be rare.

Reduced pollutant loadings in wastewater can lead to a significant improvement in ecosystem health, as well as to important benefits to fisheries resources. The negative impacts of untreated sewage and its components are well understood and while impacts to shellfish are quickly recognized by most people, sewage has impacts on many species at many food chain levels, and contributes to overall habitat and water quality degradation. Reduced pollutants would bring related economic benefits that are recognized but difficult to measure.

In addition to those described above, higher quality wastewater effluent would lead to other benefits. These include increased recreational use of water; higher property values; reduced health risk from recreational contact and consumption of fish; reduced water supply costs for municipalities and industry; increased commercial fisheries use, and an increased value placed on ecosystem and water quality by individuals/households for the benefit of both current and future generations. The above benefits are considerable but are difficult to quantify.

Monetized benefits

As discussed above, the environmental and societal benefits of the proposed Regulations are many and varied. However, in practice it is difficult to monetize the full range of benefits. Therefore, the cost-benefit analysis of the proposed Regulations focused on a subset of benefits, based on the approach taken in the CBA study done for the CCME. (see footnote 20) Two benefit measures were identified that can be applied broadly to the communities affected by the proposed Regulations. These are households’ willingness to pay for surface water quality improvements and property value increases. Each of these benefits and the approach to monetize them are discussed below.

In terms of willingness to pay, a large number of studies from Canada and other countries show that members of households value improved surface water quality. The willingness of households to pay originates from changes in health risk, recreational opportunity, aesthetics and intrinsic values associated with ecosystem improvements. In practice, it is difficult to disentangle all of these benefits, and thus studies generally develop one overall aggregate value estimate. This is usually referred to as willingness-to-pay (WTP) for improved surface water quality.

As was done in the CBA study for CCME, three different methods were used to come up with an overall average WTP for the benefits of the proposed Regulations. These three measures were averaged and used to estimate the benefits to households of improved surface water quality attributable to the proposed Regulations. This resulted in an average WTP of $3.2 billion for the country. This is in present value terms and expressed in 2010 dollars (PV-2010).

With respect to property value increases, studies dating back to the 1970s have shown a positive relationship between surface water quality and housing prices. As per the approach taken for the CCME CBA, (see footnote 21) a range of values between 5% and 10% were used in the assessment of the proposed Regulations. As well, the number of properties that would experience an increase in property value was determined by estimating the number of dwellings within one kilometre of an improved water body, and the 2006 Census subdivision data provided average housing price information for all of the affected communities.

Total property value increases resulting from the proposed Regulations are estimated to be $14.2 billion nationally (PV-2010).

Net benefits

The results of the quantified analysis are presented in Table 3 below. It illustrates the benefits and costs of the proposed Regulations by jurisdiction, along with the net benefits. All figures are in thousands of 2010 dollars, discounted at 8%.

Table 3 — Present value net benefits of proposed Regulations

 

Jurisdiction

Benefits

Costs

WTP PV (000s)

Property Value PV (000s)

Capital Costs PV (000s)

O&M Costs PV
(000s)

AB

$19,030

$51,925

$102,931

$30,910

BC

$434,779

$5,574,747

$254,862

$83,243

MB

$93,456

$298,742

$349,078

$126,224

NB

$35,093

$58,202

$83,232

$23,881

NL

$37,792

$404,945

$410,141

$263,441

NS

$1,544,985

$404,774

$216,512

$126,411

ON

$126,239

$223,297

$95,380

$57,450

PE

$7,251

$16,264

$6,875

$3,534

QC

$812,760

$7,166,333

$1,554,721

$1,120,715

SK

$51,739

$157,163

$23,349

$12,314

YT

$466

$4,006

$11,146

$6,329

FED

$49,259

$63,140

$120,028

$49,876

TOTAL

$3,212,850

$14,423,538

$3,228,256

$1,904,327

* Values in 000s discounted to 2010 dollars at 8%.

Jurisdiction Costs NET Benefit PV
(000s)

Other Non-Capital
Costs PV (000s)

Cost to
Government
PV (000s)

AB

$65,653

$2,246

-$130,785

BC

$56,767

$1,894

$5,612,761

MB

$38,934

$1,375

-$123,412

NB

$51,393

$1,628

-$66,840

NL

$40,223

$1,236

-$272,305

NS

$74,614

$2,213

$1,530,010

ON

$112,155

$3,163

$81,388

PE

$11,235

$319

$1,552

QC

$165,597

$4,824

$5,133,237

SK

$60,975

$2,073

$110,192

YT

$2,206

$80

-$15,288

FED

$97,389

$7,031

-$161,926

TOTAL

$777,140

$28,080

$11,698,585

* Values in 000s discounted to 2010 dollars at 8%.

As previously discussed, the overall result is a 3:1 benefit to cost ratio. As evidenced by the total values in the above table, the majority of the benefits accrue from the property value assessment, while the majority of the costs are derived from the capital costs of the upgraded wastewater systems and the associated O&M costs. Note that not all of the quantified net benefits are positive in each jurisdiction. These impacts are discussed later in the distributional impacts section.

Sensitivity analysis

Given the long timeframe of the analysis and the uncertainty around a number of the key parameters of the CBA model, sensitivity analysis is an important part of the overall assessment of the proposed Regulations.

Monte Carlo analysis was the main tool used to assess sensitivity. Monte Carlo analysis uses computer-based simulation to perform repeated random sampling of key variables that are identified as being subject to uncertainty. This process generates expected values and statistical probabilities. Thus, one can see the likelihood of the outcome occurring when all variables of interest are allowed to vary simultaneously. Using this approach, it is estimated that the proposed Regulations would result in an expected net benefit to Canadians of $11.9 billion, with a 90% probability that the net benefit would be between $800 million and $23.9 billion. There would only be a 4% chance that the proposed Regulations would not result in a positive net benefit under this analysis.

For the various jurisdictions, the results generally confirm the main findings as well. Those showing net benefits have high probabilities of achieving them in the results, while those with net costs have high probabilities of achieving those. Only the Prince Edward Island results have a significant probability of having a different overall result (i.e. there is a 43% chance of a net cost vs. a 47% chance of a net benefit).

However, it is important to keep in mind that these sensitivity results only apply to what was included in the quantitative analysis. As discussed, only a subset of the likely benefits could be quantified. Many, such as impacts on shellfish harvesting, tourism, human health, or locally sensitive environments, are not accounted for or only partially accounted for in the analysis. If such benefits could be fully incorporated into the above analysis, jurisdictions currently showing a net cost would have a considerably greater chance of achieving net benefits as a result of the proposed Regulations.

To address the particular concern that costs could turn out to be higher than estimated, an additional simulation was conducted. In this analysis, costs were increased by 20% over and above the adjusted 2006 estimates provided by the EFTG. This change did not alter the overall result. Benefits still considerably outweighed the costs, with the overall benefit-to-cost ratio reduced only to 2.7 to 1. The jurisdictional results were also consistent, although the magnitudes were different, with net benefits reduced and net costs increased.

The sensitivity analysis carried out on the analysis of the proposed Regulations provides additional confidence that the overall conclusions from the analysis are sound, even though the specific magnitudes of the results are subject to uncertainty.

Distributional impacts

Given the varying levels of treatment and number of wastewater systems needing upgrades across the country, as well as the large costs involved, the proposed Regulations would likely have some significant distributional impacts. The main impacts are anticipated to be across regions and communities, while individual households and business would also likely be indirectly impacted.

Regional impacts

In terms of regional impacts, Table 3 reveals that the impacts of the proposed Regulations would not be the same across the country. In general, the majority of the benefits and costs would be expected in jurisdictions with the highest percentage of the population on sewer systems with less than secondary treatment. As is illustrated in Figure 1, these are the coastal regions and Quebec. This is generally reflected in Table 3, where relatively higher costs and benefits are evident in British Columbia (BC), Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Nova Scotia (NS), and Quebec (QC).

Some jurisdictions have negative net benefits in Table 3. When considering these results, it is important to consider that not all of the benefits of the proposed Regulations could be quantified. Thus, these results likely do not truly reflect the overall impact in these areas. For instance, water availability and watershed sensitivities in the Prairie Provinces would likely add to the net benefits in those areas, while fisheries and shellfish impacts would increase net benefits in the coastal regions, in particular the Atlantic Provinces. Tourism impacts would be felt across the country. Therefore, while important, the net benefits presented in Table 3 do not provide a complete picture of the likely impacts.

Community impacts

The proposed Regulations are expected to be affordable for communities. In its work assessing the affordability of the CCME Strategy, the EFTG identified a number of funding mechanisms available to communities, such as full cost recovery, government service partnerships, strategic budget allocations, debt financing (bonds, loans, revolving loan funds, securitization funds), public-private partnerships, etc. The EFTG found that municipalities have relied upon their own resources for water and wastewater investments, spending $9 billion between 1999 and 2006. Additional funding has been made available through infrastructure investments from higher levels of government, including a number of federal infrastructure programs that have wastewater projects as an eligible investment category.

However, the CCME did raise concern with respect to small (less than 250 people) and declining communities in the assessment of the CCME Strategy, which could also be applicable to the proposed Regulations. Through the CCME Strategy, governments have agreed to examine alternative approaches, including how to incorporate alternatives to large infrastructure investments in order to give very small and declining communities some flexibility to meet the new standards. In addition, the risk-based timelines provide communities time to plan, finance, and implement approaches to meet the required standards.

Household and business impacts

Households and businesses in communities requiring significant capital upgrades to meet the requirements in the proposed Regulations would likely be indirectly impacted through increased user fees or utility rates levied to pay for the upgrades. It is not practical with the information available at the federal level to accurately assess these impacts, as each community has different financial circumstances (e.g. tax base, reserves, utility rates). However, as wastewater infrastructure is funded from a variety of sources, the cost burden would not be expected to fall disproportionately on any one rate payer.

Competitiveness impacts

Potential competitiveness impacts are an important consideration of any regulatory proposal. In the case of the proposed Regulations, no significant adverse competitiveness impacts are expected. The cost burden of the proposed Regulations would not be expected to fall disproportionately on any one rate payer, including businesses.

There would likely be positive impacts on Canada’s competitiveness in the areas of fisheries resources and tourism, in particular. For example, higher wastewater effluent quality could help reduce contaminant-related shellfish harvest closures in that $1.5 billion industry, and remove barriers to the export of seafood products (e.g. mussel exports from Eastern Canada). Tourism could also be impacted, as improved wastewater quality would likely help reduce the number of beach closures and increase access to water-based recreation.

Summary

The costs and benefits of the proposed Regulations are summarized in Table 4 below, along with other qualitative and non-monetized impacts. The time periods reflect the beginning and end of the analysis period (2011–2065), with the start of each risk-based compliance period in between. The total net present value over the period of analysis is also provided, as are average annual figures. All figures are expressed in millions of 2010 dollars.

Table 4 — Cost-benefit summary statement

Incremental costs and benefits

2011 Base Year

2020

2030

2040

2065

Total NPV 2011–2065

Annual Average

(Millions of 2010 dollars)

A. Quantified costs

Costs to wastewater owners and operators

Capital costs*

0

4,450

3,722

142

0

3,228

262

Operation and maintenance costs

0

280

443

448

84

1,904

155

Administrative costs

68

88

62

62

38

777

63

Sub-total

68

4,818

4,227

652

122

5,909

480

Costs to government

 

Enforcement

0.33

1.26

0.63

0.38

0.22

6.7

0.5

Compliance promotion

3.8

1.67

1.67

1.67

0

17.7

1.4

Environmental effects monitoring

0.07

0.43

0.0

0.0

0

3.1

0.25

Electronic reporting system

0.003

0.003

0.003

0.003

0.003

0.5

0.04

Sub-total

4.2

3.36

2.31

2.05

0.22

28

2.19

Total costs

72.2

4,821

4,229

654

122

5,937

482

B. Monetized benefits

Willingness to pay

0

335

844

956

92

3,213

261

Property value increase

0

9,708

5,644

4,138

226

14,424

1,172

Total monetized benefits

0

10,043

6,488

5,094

318

17,637

1,433

C. Net benefit

-72.2

5,222

2,219

4,440

196

11,700

951

D. Qualitative and non-monetized impacts

Owners and operators of wastewater systems

  • There could be additional costs related to wastewater collection systems (pipe or truck), if those are deemed necessary, for example, to connect more than one community to a wastewater treatment system. However, in such a case, there could also be costs savings associated with single wastewater systems serving more than one community.
  • Cleaner source water may reduce the cost to municipalities (i.e. the majority of owner/operators of wastewater treatment systems) for treating drinking water.

Governments

  • Provincial and territorial administrative costs could be higher than an estimate based on the proportion of systems in the jurisdiction. However, they could also be less if federal costs are higher than those in a specific jurisdiction.
  • The common electronic reporting system to be developed by the federal government for the management of information collected through the proposed Regulations should improve overall efficiency as well as communication between the various jurisdictions.
  • Regulatees may also face lower administrative costs (in terms of both time and money) due to the availability of a common electronic reporting system.

Environment

  • Non-monetized environmental benefits (in the form of reduced damages) would result from lower pollutant loadings. These would total 86 478 metric tonnes of BOD matter, SS, total phosphorous and total ammonia. Other pollutants would also be reduced, such as total residual chlorine, but insufficient information is available to estimate the potential reductions. Healthier aquatic ecosystems are another significant unquantified benefit of these proposed regulations.

Health

  • Risks to human health from the release of untreated or inadequately treated wastewater effluent would be reduced. Cleaner source water would reduce the chance of wastewater contaminating drinking water sources or fish and shellfish. Risks from exposure to pollutants during recreational activities in surface water would also likely be smaller.

Income, GDP and employment

  • Spending on the required upgrades to comply with the proposed Regulations would lead to economic spin-off or “ripple” effects as the spending flows through the economy. An estimated $2.3 billion in labour income would be expected during the construction phases, and Canada’s GDP would increase in the order of $5.4 billion. Over 48 000 direct and indirect jobs would also result from these direct and indirect effects.

Regions

  • The impacts of the proposed Regulations would not be the same across the country. In general, the majority of the benefits and costs would be expected in jurisdictions with the highest percentage of the population on sewer systems with less than secondary treatment.
Communities
  • Overall, the proposed Regulations are expected to be affordable for communities. However, there is potential concern with respect to small (less than 250 people) and declining communities. Flexibility mechanisms have been incorporated into the proposed Regulations or are under consideration. For example, risk-based timelines provide time for communities to plan, finance and implement cost-effective solutions. As well, governments have agreed to examine alternative approaches, including how to incorporate alternatives to large infrastructure investments, in order to give very small and declining communities some flexibility to meet the new standards.
Households and businesses
  • Households and businesses in communities requiring significant capital upgrades to meet the requirements in the proposed Regulations would likely be indirectly impacted through increased user fees or utility rates levied to pay for the upgrades. However, as wastewater infrastructure is funded from a variety of sources, the cost burden would not be expected to fall disproportionately on any one rate payer.

* Note that for the purposes of this table, all of the capital costs were combined into 2020, 2030, and 2040 to illustrate the total capital costs per compliance period. In the actual analysis, these costs were spread out over the two years prior to the compliance period to allow for construction.

As can be seen from the above summary, the benefits of the proposed Regulations significantly outweigh the costs on a national basis over every time period considered (with the exception of the base year) and whether the dollars are discounted or not. Looking at the costs in the years 2020, 2030, and 2040, it is clear that almost 50% of the costs would be incurred in the first 10 years of the proposed Regulations, with the vast majority being the capital costs of the upgraded wastewater systems. In terms of annualized figures, costs total about $480 million per year, while benefits are approximately $1.4 billion per year, which is consistent with the almost 3:1 benefits-to-cost ratio presented above. The table also presents a number of important qualitative and distributional impacts that would likely result.

Rationale

The proposed Regulations would achieve the Government of Canada’s objective of reducing the risks to ecosystem health, fisheries resources and human health posed by wastewater effluent. The levels of harmful substances being deposited to surface water from wastewater systems in Canada would be reduced as system owners and operators respond to the national effluent quality standards. These standards represent a secondary level of wastewater treatment, or equivalent, which removes over 95% of the total mass of conventional pollutants in wastewater (i.e. BOD matter, suspended solids and nutrients). Significant amounts of non-conventional pollutants and bacteria that may be present are also removed through such treatment.

The proposed Regulations would also be the federal government’s principal instrument for implementing the CCME Canada-wide Strategy for the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent. As part of the CCME Strategy, the federal government committed to developing regulations, under the authority of the Fisheries Act, that would include the agreed upon national effluent quality standards. Additionally, jurisdictions agreed that the regulations would be implemented through bilateral administrative agreements between the federal government and the provinces, and the Yukon. These agreements would clarify roles and responsibilities of jurisdictions on elements such as regulatory reporting, data exchange, compliance promotion, and inspection and enforcement activities. The implementation of the proposed Regulations would set a major precedent in the area of cooperative wastewater management in Canada.

In terms of the benefits of the proposed Regulations, a cost-benefit analysis using conservative assumptions and only partial quantification of benefits reveals significant net benefits would be realized nationally. While the likely costs of the proposal are significant, in the order of $5.9 billion discounted to 2010 dollars, the overall quantified benefits are almost three times this amount, totalling $17.6 billion.

The results of the cost-benefit analysis on a regional and jurisdictional basis vary considerably. This is to be expected given the number of wastewater systems to be upgraded and their differing levels of treatment across the country. Regions with a low proportion of the population currently receiving secondary treatment (coastal regions and Quebec) would be expected to incur the largest costs but also generally receive relatively larger benefits. This is not always the case, as some jurisdictions do not generate net benefits under the analysis. This may be due in large part to the limits of the analysis. For instance, many important benefits could not be quantified or were only partially quantified. These include human and ecosystem health, fisheries resources and tourism benefits. On the other hand, the costs are fairly comprehensive. In addition, high costs were identified for small and very small communities. These communities could face challenges funding the identified upgrades on their own.

Despite some of the regional results, the proposed Regulations should be affordable. This conclusion is supported by the work of the EFTG in its examination of the overall CCME Strategy, whereby numerous funding options were identified. The EFTG concluded that the CCME Strategy, which includes the national effluent quality standards in the proposed Regulations, would be affordable if governments made wastewater infrastructure funding a priority. With respect to the federal government, a number of infrastructure programs already have wastewater as an eligible project category, with several identifying wastewater infrastructure as a national priority.

Overall, the results of the analysis demonstrate clear benefits to Canadians from bringing all wastewater systems in the country up to a secondary level of treatment or equivalent. This would bring Canada in line with standards already in place in the United States and Europe, and it would put Canadian wastewater systems in a better position to deal with emerging threats to ecosystem health, human health and fisheries resources in the future.

Consultation

Environment Canada has been consulting on the management of wastewater for many years. Most recently, Environment Canada held 26 one-day consultation sessions across the country between November 2007 and January 2008. The objective of these sessions was to provide stakeholders and interested parties with detailed information and solicit input on the Proposed Regulatory Framework for Wastewater and the draft CCME Strategy. These consultation sessions involved more than 500 participants from Aboriginal communities and organizations, municipalities and associated organizations, environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), and federal departments and agencies.

The comments received at the various consultation sessions and through written submissions covered a broad range of issues and perspectives. Feedback revealed a consensus that there is a need to improve wastewater management in Canada. A document providing Environment Canada’s response to comments received on the Proposed Regulatory Framework for Wastewater is posted on Environment Canada’s Web site (www.ec.gc.ca/eu-ww). The comments and concerns related to technical aspects of the proposed Regulations are summarized below, along with Environment Canada’s responses.

Timelines

The compliance timelines for low- and medium-risk wastewater systems were identified by several participants and submissions as being too long. In particular, participants from federal departments and agencies were of the view that the proposed timelines of 20 to 30 years would be too long to get “buy-in” from their management to plan for any capital investment.

Environment Canada is proposing compliance timelines for high-, medium- and low-risk wastewater systems (2020, 2030 and 2040, respectively). These are intended for situations where building new infrastructure would be necessary in order to be able to meet the effluent quality standards. Nevertheless, regardless of the maximum timelines allowed, owners and operators of wastewater systems are encouraged to achieve compliance with the mandatory effluent quality standards when possible, especially as it relates to normal infrastructure renewal timelines.

Limits for deleterious substances

Participants from all stakeholder groups and interested parties expressed the view that there should be additional parameters defined as deleterious substances within the proposed Regulations, including phosphorus, nitrogen, and fecal coliforms.

Environment Canada considers pollutants, such as phosphorous, nitrogen and fecal coliforms, to be best managed site-specifically, beyond the reductions achieved through the proposed Regulations. The CCME Strategy provides an agreed-to framework for jurisdictions to manage site-specific pollutants, either through concentration- or loading-based approaches.

Several stakeholders and interested parties suggested that it would be more appropriate to describe the deleterious substances in terms of loading rather than concentration.

Environment Canada has adopted a concentration-based approach for the deleterious substances, as the proposed limits for BOD matter and suspended solids are indicative of conventional secondary wastewater treatment.

Monitoring requirements

It was suggested by some participants representing municipalities that the proposed monitoring frequencies for large facilities may be set too high. Across the country, support for monitoring by small systems was demonstrated. However, concern was expressed by some representatives for municipalities as well as participants from Aboriginal communities and organizations that small facilities may experience difficulty meeting the proposed monitoring requirements because of resource constraints. Clarity was also sought by municipalities on receiving environment monitoring requirements.

In response to the concern about the proposed frequency of monitoring being too high, Environment Canada has decreased the frequency for very large facilities. The monitoring frequency for small systems has not been decreased in the proposed Regulations as a minimum amount of data is required in order to obtain an accurate representation of effluent quality. Environment Canada has included specific requirements for receiving environment monitoring in the proposed Regulations to evaluate the effectiveness of the national effluent quality standards in protecting fish and fish habitat. Approximately 200 wastewater systems that meet the effluent quality standards and the criterion of a risk-based test would be required to conduct environmental effects monitoring.

Reporting requirements

Concern was expressed by some participants from Aboriginal communities and organizations, as well as by federal departments and agencies over proposed reporting frequencies.

In response to the above concerns, Environment Canada has harmonized the previously different reporting frequencies. Under the proposed Regulations, reporting for all wastewater systems would be required on a quarterly basis.

Concern was also expressed by municipalities that there might be a lack of information available for reporting on combined sewer overflows.

While recognizing that information may be scarce in certain circumstances, overflows from combined sewers would be subject to the requirements for deposits out of the normal course of events under the proposed Regulations.

Acute toxicity requirements

There were differing opinions on the timeframe for meeting the requirements related to acute toxicity in cases where there is an acute toxicity test failure. In particular, Aboriginal participants from the west coast felt the proposed two-year timeframe for meeting the requirement to deposit a non-acutely toxic effluent would not allow for the proper protection of fish that they rely upon.

Environment Canada is proposing that wastewater systems with effluent meeting the proposed national effluent quality standards for biochemical oxygen demanding matter and suspended solids would also be required to produce an effluent that is not acutely toxic as a condition to deposit effluent. For acute toxicity test failures, the proposed Regulations do not include requirements for the identification and implementation of corrective actions within a two-year timeframe.

Addressing additional chemicals

Participants from all groups of stakeholders and interested parties expressed concern about chemicals that are not removed by secondary treatment. They signalled support for actions relating to pollution prevention and source control. In addition, Environment Canada was advised that federal action should be taken to eliminate such chemicals from wastewater discharges.

Environment Canada recognizes that there may be a need to address substances in wastewater effluent beyond those covered under the proposed Regulations. As per the CCME Strategy, the need for national risk management actions to manage pollutants at their source would be determined based on the result of the site-specific environmental risk assessments, and appropriate action would be taken by the relevant regulators. The Government of Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan is also a key element of Environment Canada’s commitment to reduce pollutants at their source. The Chemicals Management Plan includes risk assessment and risk management actions under CEPA 1999, the Pest Control Products Act and the Food and Drugs Act.

Funding

Participants from all groups of stakeholders and interested parties were vocal in their concerns regarding the funding of wastewater management. The general message from all sessions was that the introduction of more stringent regulatory standards would place greater pressure on the already limited technical, financial and human resources of communities. The overwhelming response from participants was a call for funding that is proportional to the new federal demands, as well as for appropriate resources and support for current requirements.

Environment Canada is of the view that the requirements of the proposed Regulations are affordable if all jurisdictions make wastewater funding a priority. The federal government has already identified wastewater as a priority for many of its infrastructure programs. For instance, the Building Canada Plan, first announced in Budget 2007, provides $33 billion for infrastructure needs across the country, including water and wastewater. The cornerstone of the Plan, the Building Canada Fund, has wastewater infrastructure designated as one of five national priority categories among other eligible project categories. Also under the Plan, the Gas Tax Fund accounts for $11.8 billion of funding which can be allocated to infrastructure, including water and wastewater projects. Budget 2007 committed to making the Gas Tax Fund permanent after 2014. In Budget 2009, the federal government accelerated and expanded its infrastructure spending with almost $12 billion in new stimulus funding over two years to help Canada emerge from the global economic downturn. These funds will support priority infrastructure projects across all eligible categories, including water and wastewater. In addition, the risk-based implementation timelines included in the proposed Regulations have been established so that sufficient time would be available to plan, finance and complete the necessary upgrades.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

As part of the CCME Strategy, jurisdictions agreed that the proposed Regulations would be implemented through bilateral administrative agreements between the federal government and the provinces and the Yukon. These agreements would clarify roles and responsibilities of jurisdictions on elements such as regulatory reporting, data exchange, compliance promotion, as well as inspection and enforcement activities. The agreements have yet to be negotiated, thus, the following subsections on implementation, enforcement and service standards focus on those systems under federal government operation or on federal or aboriginal land which will be delivered by Environment Canada.

Implementation

To meet the objectives of the proposed Regulations, compliance promotion activities targeting owners and operators of wastewater systems would be delivered in order to make them aware of the regulatory requirements and to encourage them to achieve a high level of overall compliance as early as possible during the regulatory implementation process.

Compliance promotion activities, such as developing and distributing promotional materials, advertising in trade and association magazines, attending trade association conferences, presenting at workshops and information sessions and meeting with regulatees, would be undertaken.

Enforcement

Enforcement officers would, when verifying compliance with the proposed Regulations, apply the “Compliance and Enforcement Policy for the Habitat Protection and Pollution Prevention Provisions of the Fisheries Act.” The policy sets out the range of possible responses to violations, including warnings, directions, environmental protection compliance orders, ticketing, ministerial orders, injunctions, prosecution, and environmental protection alternative measures. In addition, the policy explains when Environment Canada will resort to civil suits by the Crown for costs recovery.

When, following an inspection or an investigation, an enforcement officer discovers an alleged violation, the officer will choose the appropriate enforcement action based on the following factors:

  • Nature of the alleged violation: This includes consideration of the damage, the intent of the alleged violator, whether it is a repeat violation, and whether an attempt has been made to conceal information or otherwise subvert the objectives and requirements of the Act;
  • Effectiveness in achieving the desired result with the alleged violator: The desired result is compliance within the shortest possible time and with no further repetition of the violation. Factors to be considered include the violator’s history of compliance with the Act, willingness to cooperate with enforcement officers, and evidence of corrective action already taken;
  • Consistency: Enforcement officers will consider how similar situations have been handled in determining the measures to be taken to enforce the Act.

Service standards

Service standards would be proposed for the issuance of transitional and temporary authorizations.

Under the proposed Regulations, an owner or operator of an eligible wastewater system would be required to submit an application for a transitional authorization or a temporary authorization to deposit un-ionized ammonia by 18 months after the registration of the proposed Regulations. The application for the authorization would be reviewed by the authorization officer and, if accepted, the authorization would be issued to align with the coming into force of the regulatory provisions that set limits for deleterious substances deposited in effluent (i.e. 24 months after the registration of the proposed Regulations).

An application for a temporary bypass authorization would be required to be submitted at least 45 days before the day on which the bypass is scheduled to begin. The application for the bypass authorization would be reviewed by the authorization officer and, if accepted, the authorization would be issued no later than 21 days from the date of receipt of the application.

Performance measurement and evaluation

The performance of the proposed Regulations would be measured and evaluated in terms of immediate, intermediate and final outcomes.

The immediate outcome of the proposed Regulations would be that the regulated community is in compliance with the regulatory requirements. This would be evaluated by determining the percentage of the regulated community reporting on time and the percentage of the regulated community that is in compliance with the limits for effluent quality.

The intermediate outcome of the proposed Regulations would be that national effluent quality standards are achieved within prescribed timelines and maintained. The final outcome would be that risks are reduced to ecosystem health, fisheries resources and human health.

These intermediate and final outcomes would be evaluated using as an indicator the percentage of wastewater systems achieving the national effluent quality standards. The reduction in loadings of BOD matter and suspended solids would also be used to evaluate these outcomes and would be determined annually. Results of environmental effects monitoring studies would be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the national effluent quality standards in protecting fish and fish habitat.

The proposed Regulations would require regulatees to submit reports through an electronic reporting system developed by Environment Canada. Reporting on the progress and performance of the proposed Regulations would occur through departmental performance reports. With respect to the assessment of the overall effectiveness of the implementation of the proposed Regulations, Environment Canada would work with the departmental head of evaluation to determine the scope of the evaluation, as well as the appropriate timing. Annual reports based on the routine reporting required by the proposed Regulations would also be produced and made publicly available. In addition, the effectiveness of the national effluent quality standards in protecting fish and fish habitat would be evaluated through environmental effects monitoring studies and reported on by Environment Canada.

Contacts

Randall Meades
Director General
Public and Resources Sectors Directorate
Environment Canada
351 Saint-Joseph Boulevard, 13th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-934-4205
Fax: 819-953-8098
Email: Randall.Meades@ec.gc.ca

Luis Leigh
Director
Regulatory Analysis and Valuation Division
Environment Canada
10 Wellington Street, 24th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0H3
Telephone: 819-953-1170
Fax: 819-997-2769
Email: Luis.Leigh@ec.gc.ca

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is hereby given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsections 36(5), 37(3) and 38(9) of the Fisheries Act (see footnote a), proposes to make the annexed Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations with respect to the proposed Regulations within 60 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be sent by mail to Randall Meades, Director General, Public and Resources Sectors, Department of the Environment, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3, by fax to 819-953-7253 or by email to ww-eu@ec.gc.ca.

Ottawa, March 11, 2010

JURICA ČAPKUN
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

WASTEWATER SYSTEMS EFFLUENT REGULATIONS

INTERPRETATION

Definitions

1. The following definitions apply in these Regulations.

“Act”
« Loi »

“Act” means the Fisheries Act.

“acutely lethal”
« létalité aiguë »

“acutely lethal”, in relation to effluent, means that the effluent at 100% concentration kills more than 50% of the rainbow trout subjected to it during a 96-hour period.

“authorization officer”
« agent d’autorisation »

“authorization officer”, in respect of a province set out in column 1 of Schedule 1, means the holder of the position set out in column 2.

“biochemical oxygen demanding matter”
« matières exerçant une demande biochimique en oxygène »

“biochemical oxygen demanding matter” means any matter that consumes oxygen dissolved in water.

“blackwater”
« eaux noires »

“blackwater” includes greywater when it is mixed with blackwater.

“composite sample”
« échantillon composite »

“composite sample” means

(a) for a wastewater system that continuously deposits effluent during a 24-hour period,

(i) a volume of effluent that consists of not less than three equal volumes, or three volumes proportionate to the rate of flow of the effluent, that have been collected at approximately equal time intervals that, combined, span at least seven hours and at most 24 hours, or

(ii) a volume of effluent collected continuously over a 24-hour period at a constant rate, or at a rate proportionate to the rate of flow of the effluent; and

(b) for any other wastewater system, grab samples of equal volumes taken every hour during a 24-hour period in which the wastewater system deposits effluent.

“effluent”
« effluent »

“effluent” means wastewater that is deposited from a wastewater system.

“environmental effects monitoring studies”
« études de suivi des effets sur l’environnement »

“environmental effects monitoring studies” means water quality monitoring studies described in Part 1 of Schedule 2, and biological monitoring studies set out in Part 2 of that Schedule.

“final discharge point”
« point de rejet final »

“final discharge point” means the point, other than an overflow point, of a wastewater system beyond which its owner or operator no longer exercises control over the quality of the wastewater before its deposit as effluent in water or a place.

“grab sample”
« échantillon instantané »

“grab sample” means a volume of effluent collected at any given time.

“overflow point”
« point de débordement »

“overflow point” means a point of a wastewater system via which excess wastewater may be deposited in water or a place and beyond which its owner or operator no longer exercises control over the quality of wastewater before its deposit as effluent.

“Minister”
« ministre »

“Minister” means the Minister of the Environment.

“point of entry”
« point d’entrée »

“point of entry”, in relation to the final discharge point or an overflow point of a wastewater system, means

(a) the point where effluent is deposited in water frequented by fish via the final discharge point or the overflow point, as the case may be; or

(b) any point where the effluent enters that water from the place where it was deposited via the final discharge point or the overflow point, as the case may be.

“Procedure for pH Stabilization EPS 1/RM/50”
« Procédure de stabilisation du pH SPE 1/RM/50 »

“Procedure for pH Stabilization EPS 1/RM/50” means the Procedure for pH Stabilization During the Testing of Acute Lethality of Wastewater Effluent to Rainbow Trout (EPS 1/RM/50), March 2008, published by the Department of the Environment, as amended from time to time.

“quarter”
« trimestre »

“quarter”, in respect of a year, means any of the four periods of three months that begin on the first day of January, April, July and October.

“Reference Method EPS 1/RM/13”
« Méthode de Référence SPE 1/RM/13 »

“Reference Method EPS 1/RM/13” means the Biological Test Method: Reference Method for Determining Acute Lethality of Effluents to Rainbow Trout (EPS 1/RM/13 Second Edition), December 2000, published by the Department of the Environment, as amended from time to time.

“Standard Methods”
« Standard Methods »

“Standard Methods” means the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 21st Edition, 2005, published jointly by the American Public Health Association, the American Water Works Association and the Water Environment Federation, as amended from time to time.

“suspended solids”
« matières en suspension »

“suspended solids” means any solid matter that is present in effluent.

“total residual chlorine”
« chlore résiduel total »

“total residual chlorine” means the sum of free chlorine and combined chlorine, including inorganic chloramines.

“wastewater”
« eaux usées »

“wastewater” means

(a) blackwater;

(b) drainage water including waterborne wastes — other than blackwater — from an industrial, commercial or institutional facility; and

(c) other drainage water, including waterborne wastes and surface runoff, if mixed with blackwater.

“wastewater system”
« système d’assainissement »

“wastewater system” means any work or site used for the collection and deposit of wastewater, whether or not the wastewater is treated.

“watercourse”
« Version anglaise seulement »

“watercourse” includes a river, a stream and a creek.

APPLICATION

Application

2. (1) These Regulations apply in respect of a wastewater system that

(a) has a capacity to deposit 10 m3 or more, per day, of effluent via its final discharge point based on its design specifications; and

(b) deposits a deleterious substance prescribed in section 3 in any water or place referred to in subsection 36(3) of the Act.

Non-application — areas

(2) These Regulations do not apply in respect of a wastewater system located in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and north of the 54th parallel in the provinces of Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Non-application — industrial, commercial or institutional effluent

(3) These Regulations do not apply in respect of an on-site wastewater system for an industrial, commercial or institutional facility if 25% or less of the volume of its effluent is blackwater.

PART 1

AUTHORIZATION TO DEPOSIT

EFFLUENT CONTAINING DELETERIOUS SUBSTANCES

Prescribed deleterious substances

3. For the purpose of the definition “deleterious substance” in subsection 34(1) of the Act, the following substances or classes of substances are prescribed as deleterious substances:

(a) biochemical oxygen demanding matter;

(b) suspended solids;

(c) total residual chlorine; and

(d) un-ionized ammonia.

Authorization to deposit

4. (1) For the purpose of paragraph 36(4)(b) of the Act, the owner or operator of a wastewater system may, during a given quarter or month referred to in subsection (2), deposit or permit the deposit of an effluent that contains any of the deleterious substances prescribed in section 3 via its final discharge point in any water or place referred to in subsection 36(3) of the Act if the effluent is not acutely lethal as determined in accordance with section 8 and if, during the previous quarter or month, as the case may be, the effluent met the following conditions:

(a) the average carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand due to the quantity of biochemical oxygen demanding matter in the effluent did not exceed 25 mg/L;

(b) the average concentration of suspended solids in the effluent did not exceed 25 mg/L;

(c) the average concentration of total residual chlorine in the effluent did not exceed 0.02 mg/L; and

(d) the maximum concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the effluent was less than 1.25 mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N), at 15°C ± 1°C.

Quarterly or monthly average

(2) The averages referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c) and the maximum referred to in paragraph (1)(d) must be determined on a quarterly or monthly basis, as follows:

(a) quarterly, if the annual average daily volume of effluent deposited via the final discharge point during the previous year — namely, the year that ends at the beginning of the quarter — was less than or equal to 17 500 m3; and

(b) monthly, if the annual average daily volume of effluent deposited via the final discharge point during the previous year — namely, the year that ends at the beginning of the month — was more than 17 500 m3.

Determination of averages and maximum

(3) The averages referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) to (c) and the maximum referred to in paragraph (1)(d) must be determined based on samples of effluent referred to in subsections 7(1) and (3) in accordance with subsection 7(2).

Conditions

(4) The authorization under subsection (1) granted to an owner or operator is conditional on the owner or operator

(a) installing, maintaining and calibrating monitoring equipment in accordance with section 6;

(b) monitoring effluent in accordance with sections 7 and 8 and sending the monitoring report referred to in section 17 in accordance with that section;

(c) if applicable, conducting environmental effects monitoring studies in accordance with section 14;

(d) keeping records in accordance with section 15;

(e) sending the identification report referred to in section 16 in accordance with that section; and

(f) preparing, making available, updating and testing a response plan in accordance with section 42.

VOLUME OF EFFLUENT

Annual average daily volume

5. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system must determine the annual average daily volume of effluent deposited via the final discharge point for a given year by

(a) for each day during that year when effluent was deposited via that point, determining the volume, expressed in m3, of effluent deposited during that day; and

(b) calculating the sum of those daily volumes of effluent deposited and dividing that sum by the number of days in that year.

Daily volumes

(2) The daily volume of effluent, expressed in m3, deposited for a given day must be determined by

(a) a continuous measure that yields the actual volume of effluent deposited during that day, if the annual average daily volume of effluent deposited during the previous calendar year — namely, the calendar year that ended before the beginning of the quarter or the month in which that day occurs — was more than 2 500 m3; and

(b) a continuous measure that yields the actual volume of effluent deposited during that day or an estimate of the daily volume of effluent deposited, in any other case.

Estimate of daily volume

(3) The estimate of the daily volume, expressed in m3, of effluent deposited must be determined by

(a) measuring the rate of flow of effluent at the final discharge point in any chosen unit of volume for any chosen unit of time; and

(b) calculating that daily volume based on that rate of flow over a 24-hour period.

Default measurement

(4) If the annual average daily volume, expressed in m3, of effluent deposited via the final discharge point of a wastewater system for a previous calendar year cannot be determined under subsections (1) to (3), that annual average daily volume must be determined on the basis of the maximum rate of flow of effluent at the final discharge point based on the wastewater system’s design specifications on the day on which it began or begins operations.

MONITORING

Monitoring Equipment

Requirements

6. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system must, for the quarter or month in question, have installed monitoring equipment and maintain and calibrate it such that the equipment may be used to determine the volume of effluent deposited via the final discharge point in accordance with the following:

(a) for an annual average daily volume deposited of more than 2 500 m3 in the previous calendar year — namely, the calendar year that ended before the beginning of that quarter or month — the monitoring equipment must yield a continuous measure of the volume of effluent deposited; and

(b) for any other annual average daily volume deposited in the previous calendar year, the monitoring equipment must either yield a continuous measure of the volume of effluent deposited or be capable of measuring the rate of flow of effluent deposited.

Accuracy

(2) The monitoring equipment must accurately determine the volume or rate of flow with a margin of error of 15%.

Calibration

(3) The owner or operator must calibrate the monitoring equipment at least once in every calendar year and at least five months after a previous calibration.

Composition of the Effluent

Collection of samples

7. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system that, during the previous calendar year — namely, the calendar year that ended before the quarter or month in question — deposited an annual average daily volume set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection must, for that quarter or month, collect at the final discharge point a sample of effluent of the type set out in column 2 at the minimum frequency set out in column 3.

TABLE

Item

Column 1


Annual
Average Daily
Volume (m3)

Column 2

Type of Sample
to be Collected

Column 3




Minimum Sampling Frequency

1.

≤ 2 500

Grab or composite

Monthly but at least 10 days after any other sample

2.

> 2 500 and ≤ 17 500

Composite

Every two weeks but at least seven days after any other sample

3.

> 17 500 and ≤ 50 000

Composite

Weekly but at least five days after any other sample

4.

> 50 000

Composite

Three days per week but at least one day after any other sample

Deleterious substances — quantities

(2) The owner or operator must, for each sample collected, determine, or cause the determination of, the following:

(a) the carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand due to the quantity of biochemical oxygen demanding matter in the effluent, determined in accordance with a test method referred to in section 9;

(b) the concentration of suspended solids in the effluent, determined in accordance with a test method referred to in section 10; and

(c) the concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the effluent, determined in accordance with the formula and a test method referred to in section 11.

Additional samples

(3) For greater certainty, the owner or operator who collects more samples than the minimum required under column 3 of the table to subsection (1) must make the determination referred to in subsection (2) for each sample collected, including those additional samples.

Non-application — item 1

(4) Subsection (1) does not apply, for a given month, to an owner or operator of a wastewater system to which item 1 of the table to that subsection applies if no effluent was deposited from the system during that month.

Acute Lethality Testing

Collection of samples

8. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system that, during the previous calendar year — namely, the calendar year that ended before the quarter or month in question — deposited an annual average daily volume of effluent set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection must, for that quarter or month, collect a grab sample at the final discharge point at the minimum frequency set out in column 2.

TABLE

Item

Column 1

Annual Average Daily Volume (m3)

Column 2


Minimum Sampling Frequency

1.

> 2 500 and ≤ 50 000

Quarterly but at least 60 days after any other sample

2.

> 50 000

Monthly but at least 21 days after any other sample

Acute lethality

(2) The owner or operator must test each sample collected in accordance with a method referred to in section 12 in order to determine, or cause the determination of, whether it is acutely lethal.

Additional test

(3) If a sample is determined to be acutely lethal when tested in accordance with subsection (2), the owner or operator must collect a grab sample twice a month, but at least seven days after any previous sample, and conduct a test for acute lethality referred to in section 12 but in accordance with section 6 of the Reference Method EPS 1/RM/13.

Subsequent samples

(4) If three consecutive samples are, under subsection (3), determined not to be acutely lethal, subsections (1) and (2) apply to subsequent samples. For greater certainty, subsection (3) applies to any of those subsequent samples that is determined to be acutely lethal when tested in accordance with subsection (2).

Test Methods

Carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand

9. The carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand due to the quantity of biochemical oxygen demanding matter in the effluent must be determined in accordance with one of the following methods:

(a) the method described in subsections 5210 A and 5210 B, with the inhibition of nitrification, of the Standard Methods; or

(b) any other equivalent test method that is authorized under the laws of the province where the wastewater system is located.

Suspended solids

10. The concentration of suspended solids in the effluent must be determined in accordance with one of the following methods:

(a) the method described in subsection 2540 D of the Standard Methods; or

(b) any other equivalent test method that is authorized under the laws of the province where the wastewater system is located.

Un-ionized ammonia

11. (1) The concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the effluent must be determined in accordance with the following formula:

Formula - concentration of un-ionized ammonia

where

total ammonia is the concentration of total ammonia — namely, un-ionized ammonia (NH3) plus ionized ammonia (NH4+) — determined in accordance with subsection (2), expressed in mg/L as nitrogen (N); and

pH is the initial pH of the effluent at 15°C ± 1°C, determined in accordance with subsection (3).

Concentration of total ammonia

(2) The concentration of total ammonia in the effluent must be determined by using an aliquot of the same sample of effluent from which the pH of the effluent was determined and in accordance with one of the following methods:

(a) one of the methods described in subsections 4500-NH3 B to 4500-NH3 H of the Standard Methods; or

(b) any other equivalent test method that is authorized under the laws of the province where the wastewater system is located.

pH

(3) The pH of the effluent must be determined by using an aliquot of the same sample of effluent from which the concentration of total ammonia of the effluent was determined and in accordance with one of the following methods:

(a) the method described in subsection 4500-H+ B of the Standard Methods; or

(b) any other equivalent test method that is authorized under the laws of the province where the wastewater system is located.

Acute lethality

12. The acute lethality of the effluent must be determined in accordance with

(a) the Reference Method EPS 1/RM/13; or

(b) the method referred to in paragraph (a) and the Procedure for pH Stabilization EPS 1/RM/50.

Accredited Laboratory

Accredited laboratory

13. The determinations referred to in subsections 7(2) and 8(2) must be made

(a) by a laboratory

(i) that is accredited under the International Organization for Standardization standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 entitled General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, as amended from time to time, by an accrediting body recognized in accordance with that organization’s standard ISO/IEC 17011:2004 entitled Conformity assessment — General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, as amended from time to time, and

(ii) the scope of whose accreditation includes the analytical method used to make the determinations; or

(b) by a laboratory

(i) that is accredited under the Environment Quality Act, R.S.Q., c. Q-2, as amended from time to time, by an accreditation body that is recognized in accordance with that Act, and

(ii) the scope of whose accreditation includes the analytical method used to make the determinations.

Environmental Effects Monitoring

Percentage of effluent in water

14. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system must conduct the environmental effects monitoring studies referred to in paragraph 4(4)(c) in respect of its effluent if the water at any point that is 100 m from the point of entry for the final discharge point is comprised of 10% or more of that effluent.

Determination

(2) An owner or operator must — on any given day in August, or September, 2013 — determine the percentage referred to in subsection (1) if there has been no precipitation on that day and on the two days before that day. But, if there is no such day, the determination must be made on the third consecutive day on which there has been no precipitation.

Notification

(3) The owner or operator must, by December 31, 2013, notify the authorization officer of the results of each determination made under subsection (2) and provide information to support that determination.

Schedule 2

(4) The provisions of Schedule 2 apply in respect of environmental effects monitoring studies.

Generally accepted standards

(5) The determination referred to in subsection (2), and the environmental effects monitoring studies referred to in subsection (4), must be made and conducted and their results recorded, interpreted and reported in accordance with generally accepted standards of good scientific practice at the time that the studies are conducted.

Electronic report

(6) The owner or operator must, electronically in the format specified by the Minister, send the report on the water quality monitoring studies referred to in section 3 of Schedule 2, and the interpretive reports referred to in sections 11 and 14 of that Schedule, within the period set out in section 3, 11 or 14 of that Schedule, as the case may be. The report must bear the electronic signature of the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative.

Paper report

(7) If the Minister has not specified an electronic format or if it is not feasible to send all or any part of the report electronically in accordance with subsection (6) because of circumstances beyond the owner’s or operator’s control, the report or that part must be sent on paper, signed by the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, and in the format specified by the Minister. However, if no format has been so specified, it may be in any format.

End of monitoring

(8) No environmental effects monitoring studies under these Regulations may begin after December 31, 2025.

RECORD KEEPING

Information to be recorded

15. The owner or operator of a wastewater system must keep any report on a determination made by an accredited laboratory referred to in section 13 and a record that contains the following information:

(a) for the final discharge point

(i) each date on which effluent was deposited via the final discharge point, and

(ii) for each of those dates

(A) the actual daily volume of the effluent deposited, if that volume is yielded by a continuous measure, and

(B) the estimated daily volume as determined in accordance with subsection 5(3) and the results of the measurement and the calculation referred to in paragraphs 5(3)(a) and (b), in any other case;

(b) for all monitoring equipment

(i) a description,

(ii) if applicable, the manufacturer’s specifications, the year of manufacture and the model number, and

(iii) the date on which the equipment was calibrated and its degree of accuracy after the calibration;

(c) for each sample referred to in subsection 7(1)

(i) the results of the determination referred to in each of paragraphs 7(2)(a) to (c),

(ii) the results of the determination of the concentration of total ammonia in the effluent and of the pH of the effluent that were used to make the determination referred to in paragraph 7(2)(c),

(iii) a statement as to whether the sample is a grab sample or a composite sample and the date on which the sample was taken, and

(iv) if applicable, a statement to the effect that, for a particular month, no effluent was deposited from the wastewater system during that particular month; and

(d) for each sample referred to in subsection 8(1) or (3), the information referred to in section 8.1 of the Reference Method EPS 1/RM/13 and, if the acute lethality of the effluent was determined in accordance with that method and the Procedure for pH Stabilization EPS 1/RM/50, section 3 of that procedure.

REPORTING

Identification Report

Required information

16. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system must send to the authorization officer the identification report referred to in paragraph 4(4)(e) containing the following information:

(a) the owner’s name, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number;

(b) the operator’s name, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number;

(c) the name, title, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number, of a contact person;

(d) if applicable, the wastewater system’s name and civic address;

(e) for the final discharge point,

(i) its latitude and longitude, in degrees, minutes and seconds, and

(ii) an indication of the geophysical characteristics, and any use that is made, of the water or place where effluent is deposited via the final discharge point and the name, if any, of that water or place; and

(f) the number of overflow points, for each of the combined sewers and sanitary sewers of the wastewater system, and for each of those overflow points,

(i) its latitude and longitude, in degrees, minutes and seconds, and

(ii) an indication of the geophysical characteristics, and any use that is made, of the water or place where effluent is deposited via the overflow point and the name, if any, of that water or place.

Electronic report

(2) The identification report must be sent electronically in the format specified by the Minister and must bear the electronic signature of the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative. The identification report must be so sent

(a) by February 15, 2011, if the wastewater system is in operation on January 1, 2011; and

(b) within 45 days after the wastewater system comes into operation, in any other case.

Paper report

(3) If the Minister has not specified an electronic format or if it is not feasible to send the report electronically in accordance with subsection (2) because of circumstances beyond the owner’s or operator’s control, the report must be sent on paper, signed by the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, and in the format specified by the Minister. However, if no format has been so specified, it may be in any format.

Change of information

(4) If the information provided in the identification report changes, the owner or operator must send a notice to the authorization officer that provides the updated information no later than 45 days after the change.

Decommissioning

(5) An owner or operator of a wastewater system must, at least 45 days before the planned decommissioning of the wastewater system, send a notice to the authorization officer setting out the planned date of the decommissioning and the place where the identification report is to be kept.

Monitoring Report

Information

17. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system must send, for each quarter, to the authorization officer a monitoring report that contains the following information as determined for each month during that quarter or for that quarter, as the case may be:

(a) the average carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand due to the quantity of biochemical oxygen demanding matter in the effluent;

(b) the average concentration of suspended solids in the effluent;

(c) the maximum concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the effluent;

(d) the information recorded under paragraph 15(d);

(e) a statement as to whether a composite or grab sample collection method, or both, was used;

(f) the volume of effluent that was deposited;

(g) the number of days during which effluent was deposited; and

(h) if applicable, a statement that effluent was not deposited during the month or any of those months, as the case may be.

Electronic report

(2) The monitoring report must be sent, within 45 days after the end of the quarter for which the report was made, electronically in the format specified by the Minister and must bear the electronic signature of the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative.

Paper report

(3) If the Minister has not specified an electronic format or if it is not feasible to send the report electronically in accordance with subsection (2) because of circumstances beyond the owner’s or operator’s control, the report must be sent on paper, signed by the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, and in the format specified by the Minister. However, if no format has been so specified, it may be in any format.

RECORD MAKING AND RETENTION OF DOCUMENTS

When records made

18. Records must be made without delay after the information to be recorded becomes available.

Retention of records

19. (1) An owner or operator of a wastewater system must keep a report referred to in section 15, and a record and a copy of a report required to be made under these Regulations, — along with any supporting documents — for at least five years after the day on which the record or report, as the case may be, was made.

Place of retention

(2) The report referred to in section 15, the record or the copy must be kept at the wastewater system or at any other place in Canada where it can be inspected. If that report, record or copy is kept at one of those other places, the owner or operator must provide the Minister with the civic address of that other place.

Information on monitoring equipment and identification report

(3) Despite subsection (1), the information referred to in paragraph 15(b) must be kept for at least five years after the useful life of the monitoring equipment and the identification report, as it may be updated, referred to in section 16 must be kept for at least five years after the wastewater system is decommissioned.

PART 2

TRANSITIONAL AND TEMPORARY AUTHORIZATIONS TO DEPOSIT

PURPOSE

Paragraph 36(4)(b) of the Act

20. (1) For the purpose of paragraph 36(4)(b) of the Act, an owner or operator of a wastewater system may deposit, or permit the deposit of, an effluent that contains any of the deleterious substances prescribed in section 3 via the final discharge point in any water or place referred to in subsection 36(3) of the Act, if the deposit is made in accordance with an authorization issued under this Part.

Definition of “deposit”

(2) For the purpose of sections 21 to 41, “deposit”, in relation to an effluent, includes to permit the deposit of the effluent.

TRANSITIONAL AUTHORIZATION TO DEPOSIT BIOCHEMICAL OXYGEN DEMANDING MATTER, SUSPENDED SOLIDS AND UN-IONIZED AMMONIA

Requirements and Duration

BOD and SS transitional authorization

21. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system may apply to an authorization officer for a transitional authorization to deposit via the final discharge point effluent that contains biochemical oxygen demanding matter or suspended solids, or both — referred to in these Regulations as a “BOD and SS transitional authorization” — if the average referred to in paragraph 4(1)(a) or (b) as determined in accordance with subsection 4(3) but expressed on an annual basis — over the year that ended before the month in which the application was made — exceeded 25 mg/L.

NH3, BOD and SS transitional authorization

(2) The owner or operator of a wastewater system may apply to an authorization officer for a transitional authorization to deposit via the final discharge point effluent that contains any combination of un-ionized ammonia, biochemical oxygen demanding matter and suspended solids — referred to in these Regulations as an “NH3, BOD and SS transitional authorization” — if subsection (1) applies and the concentration of un-ionized ammonia as determined in accordance with subsection 4(3) — for the year that ended before the month in which the application was made — was, on average, greater than or equal to 1.25 mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N) at 15°C ± 1°C.

Acute lethality test

(3) The owner or operator who applies for a transitional authorization must determine, or cause the determination of, by an accredited laboratory referred to in section 13, the acute lethality of the effluent deposited via the final discharge point in accordance with a method referred to in section 12 that is applied to two grab samples that were collected at the final discharge point on two days that were at least 21 days apart during the most recent four months before the application is made during which the wastewater system deposited effluent. However, if it is not possible to collect two grab samples at least 21 days apart, that method must be applied to one grab sample collected at the final discharge point.

Period of application

(4) The application for a transitional authorization must be made in accordance with section 22 and within 18 months after the day on which these Regulations are registered.

Period of authorization — point system in Schedules 3 and 4

(5) The duration, set out in subsection 23(2), of a transitional authorization is based on the system for the allocation of points related to the final discharge point set out in the table to Schedule 3 and, if applicable, related to its overflow points for its combined sewers set out in Schedule 4.

Application

Required information

22. An application for a transitional authorization must contain the following information:

(a) the owner’s name, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number;

(b) the operator’s name, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number;

(c) the name, title, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number of a contact person;

(d) if applicable, the wastewater system’s name and civic address;

(e) information that establishes that at the time of the application

(i) the conditions for the authorization referred to in subsection 4(1) are not met, and

(ii) it was not technically or economically feasible before the time of the application to have modified the wastewater system, including its processes, in order to meet those conditions;

(f) a plan for modifications to the wastewater system, including a description of modifications to its processes, that are envisaged in order to meet the conditions for the authorization referred to in subsection 4(1) and a proposed schedule for implementation of the plan;

(g) the information set out in paragraph 16(1)(e) for the final discharge point;

(h) the number of points allocated under the table to Schedule 3;

(i) a statement as to which of the waters set out in paragraphs 5(a) to (h), column 2, of the table to Schedule 3 describes the water where the effluent is deposited, or may enter from the place where the effluent is deposited, via the final discharge point and, among the points set out in column 3 for those waters, the highest number of points;

(j) the annual average daily volume of effluent deposited via the final discharge point, determined in accordance with section 5, for the year that ended before the month in which the application was made, and the number of points set out in item 1, column 3, of the table to Schedule 3 that applies to that volume based on the ranges of volume set out in column 2;

(k) the averages referred to in paragraphs 4(1)(a) and (b) as determined in accordance with subsection 4(3) for each quarter or month determined in accordance with subsection 4(2) of the year that ended before the month in which the application was made;

(l) the averages referred to in paragraph (k) but expressed on an annual basis under subsection 21(1) and the number of points determined in accordance with the formula, set out in item 2, column 2, of the table to Schedule 3 that applies to those averages;

(m) if the annual average concentration of total residual chlorine in the effluent deposited via the final discharge point — for the year that ended before the month in which the application was made — exceeded 0.02 mg/L, the number of points set out in item 3, column 3, of the table to Schedule 3;

(n) the maximum concentration referred to in paragraph 4(1)(d) as determined in accordance with subsection 4(3) for each quarter or month determined in accordance with subsection 4(2) of the year that ended before the month in which the application was made;

(o) the annual average concentration, expressed in mg/L as nitrogen (N) at 15°C ± 1°C, of un-ionized ammonia in the effluent deposited via the final discharge point as determined in accordance with subsection 4(3) for the year that ended before the month in which the application was made;

(p) if the annual average concentration referred to in paragraph (o) was greater than or equal to 1.25 mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N) at 15°C ± 1°C, the number of points set out in item 4, column 3, of the table to Schedule 3;

(q) the results of the determination of acute lethality for each sample referred to in subsection 21(3), including, for each of those samples, the information referred to in section 8.1 of the Reference Method EPS 1/RM/13 and, if the acute lethality of the effluent was determined in accordance with that method and the Procedure for pH Stabilization EPS 1/RM/50, section 3 of that procedure;

(r) if the duration of the transitional authorization sought in the application relies on, in addition to points allocated under the table to Schedule 3, an allocation of points under Schedule 4, for each combined sewer overflow point of the wastewater system

(i) the percentage referred to in item 1, column 1, of Schedule 4 that is described in whichever of paragraphs 1(a) to (d) of that Schedule that applies,

(ii) the number of deposits referred to in item 2, column 1, of that Schedule that are described in whichever of paragraphs 2(a) to (d), column 2, of that Schedule that applies, for the year that ended before the month in which the application was made,

(iii) a statement as to which of the waters set out in paragraphs 3(a) to (c), column 2, of that Schedule describes the water where the effluent is deposited, or may enter from the place where the effluent is deposited, via that overflow point, and

(iv) the number of points set out in column 3 for the applicable paragraph set out in column 2 of that Schedule as determined for the purposes of subparagraph (i) and (ii) and the number of those points that applies for each statement referred to in subparagraph (iii);

(s) the information set out in paragraph 16(1)(f) for each of the overflow points referred to in paragraph (r);

(t) for an application referred to in paragraph (r), a plan for the modifications to the wastewater system that are envisaged to eliminate, after the period of authorization for which the application is sought, the deposit of effluent that contains deleterious substances prescribed in section 3 via any overflow point of a combined sewer and a proposed schedule for implementation of the plan; and

(u) a statement signed and dated by the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, that certifies that

(i) the information provided in the application was prepared by persons with the knowledge required to determine the truthfulness, accuracy and completeness of the information, and

(ii) to the best of their information and belief, based on representations made to them by those persons in response to queries concerning that determination, the information provided is true, accurate and complete.

Conditions of Issuance

Required information

23. (1) Subject to subsection (3), the authorization officer must issue a transitional authorization if

(a) the application contains the information required by section 22;

(b) the information referred to in paragraph 22(e) can reasonably be regarded as establishing that at the time of the application

(i) the conditions for the authorization referred to in subsection 4(1) are not met, and

(ii) it was not technically or economically feasible before the time of the application to have modified the wastewater system, including its processes, in order to meet those conditions; and

(c) the proposed schedule to implement the plans referred in paragraphs 22(f) and, if applicable, (t) can reasonably be regarded as feasible.

Duration of transitional authorization

(2) The transitional authorization must be issued for the following period of authorization:

(a) from the date of issuance to December 31, 2019, if the final discharge point is, under the table to Schedule 3, allocated 70 or more points and, if the wastewater system has combined sewer overflow points for which points are allocated under Schedule 4, each combined sewer overflow point of the wastewater system is allocated less points than the number of points allocated under the table to Schedule 3 to the final discharge point;

(b) from the date of issuance to December 31, 2029, if the final discharge point is, under the table to Schedule 3, allocated 50 or more points but less than 70 points and, if the wastewater system has combined sewer overflow points for which points are allocated under Schedule 4, each combined sewer overflow point of the wastewater system is allocated less points than the number of points allocated under the table to Schedule 3 to the final discharge point; and

(c) from the date of issuance to December 31, 2039,

(i) if the final discharge point is, under the table to Schedule 3, allocated less than 50 points, or

(ii) if the final discharge point is, under the table to Schedule 3, allocated 50 or more points and, if the wastewater system has combined sewer overflow points for which points are allocated under Schedule 4, there is at least one combined sewer overflow point that is, under Schedule 4, allocated a number of points that is greater than or equal to the number of points allocated under the table to Schedule 3 to the final discharge point.

Refusal

(3) The authorization officer must refuse to issue the transitional authorization if the authorization officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the information contained in, or provided in support of, the application is false or misleading.

Conditions on Transitional Authorizations

Authorized deposits — BOD and SS transitional authorization

24. (1) The holder of a BOD and SS transitional authorization is authorized, during the period of authorization, to deposit via the final discharge point effluent that contains biochemical oxygen demanding matter and suspended solids if the effluent, during that period, meets the following conditions:

(a) the average carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand due to the quantity of biochemical oxygen demanding matter in the effluent, determined in accordance with subsections 4(2) and (3), does not exceed

(i) the greatest of the averages for that carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand referred to in paragraph 22(k), if the average for that carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand expressed on an annual basis referred to in paragraph 22(l) is greater than 25 mg/L, and

(ii) 25 mg/L, in any other case; and

(b) the average concentration of suspended solids in the effluent, determined in accordance with subsections 4(2) and (3), does not exceed

(i) the greatest of the average concentrations for those suspended solids referred to in paragraph 22(k), if the average concentration for suspended solids expressed on an annual basis referred to in paragraph 22(l) is greater than 25 mg/L, and

(ii) 25 mg/L, in any other case.

Authorized deposits — NH3, BOD and SS transitional authorization

(2) The holder of an NH3, BOD and SS transitional authorization is authorized, during the period of authorization, to deposit via the final discharge point effluent that contains biochemical oxygen demanding matter, suspended solids and un-ionized ammonia if the effluent, during that period, meets the following conditions:

(a) for biochemical oxygen demanding matter and suspended solids, the conditions referred to in paragraphs (1)(a) and (b), respectively; and

(b) for un-ionized ammonia, the maximum concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the effluent, determined in accordance with subsections 4(2) and (3), does not exceed the greatest of the maximum concentrations referred to in paragraph 22(n).

Acute lethality

(3) The holder of a transitional authorization is, during the period of authorization,

(a) authorized to deposit effluent that is acutely lethal via the final discharge point, if a sample referred to in subsection 21(3) has been determined to be acutely lethal; and

(b) not authorized to deposit effluent that is acutely lethal via the final discharge point, if no sample referred to in subsection 21(3) has been determined to be acutely lethal.

Compliance Obligations

General

25. (1) A holder of a transitional authorization, other than the holder referred to in paragraph 24(3)(a), must, during the period of authorization, comply with sections 5 to 13, 15 to 19 and 40 to 43.

Owner or operator referred to in paragraph 24(3)(a)

(2) A holder of a transitional authorization referred to in paragraph 24(3)(a) must, during the period of authorization, comply with sections 5 to 7, 9 to 11, 13, 15 to 19 and 40 to 43.

Progress reports

(3) The holder of a transitional authorization must, every five years after the date of issuance of the transitional authorization, send to the authorization officer a progress report on the steps taken to implement the plan referred to in paragraphs 22(f) and, if applicable, (t).

Scope of Transitional Authorization and Revocation

Content of transitional authorization

26. A transitional authorization must contain the following information in the form set out in Schedule 5:

(a) the information referred to in paragraphs 22(a) to (d);

(b) for the final discharge point, the information referred to in paragraph 16(1)(e);

(c) the date of issuance;

(d) the period of authorization;

(e) the average carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand due to the quantity of biochemical oxygen demanding matter in the effluent that is authorized to be deposited under subsection 24(1) or (2), as the case may be;

(f) the average concentration of suspended solids in the effluent that is authorized to be deposited under subsection 24(1) or (2), as the case may be;

(g) for an NH3, BOD and SS transitional authorization, the concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the effluent that is authorized to be deposited under paragraph 24(2)(b); and

(h) a statement as to whether the holder is authorized to deposit effluent that is acutely lethal via the final discharge point under paragraph 24(3)(a).

Correction of information

27. (1) If the information provided in an application for a transitional authorization contains errors, the owner or operator must, without delay, send a notice to the authorization officer that indicates the reason for the errors and provides information that corrects them and make the certification under paragraph 22(u) with respect to the application as amended by those corrections.

Corrected transitional authorization

(2) On receipt of a notice that corrects information that — if that corrected information had been provided with the application — would have affected the information contained in the transitional authorization referred to in section 26, the authorization officer must issue a corrected transitional authorization as if the corrections together with the remaining information originally provided in the application were an application under section 22.

Revocation

28. (1) The authorization officer must revoke a transitional authorization under the following circumstances:

(a) the information referred to in section 22 contained in the application or the information provided in a progress report referred to in subsection 25(3) is false or misleading;

(b) the holder has, during the period of authorization, failed to comply with any condition referred to in subsections 24(1) and (2), and any section referred to in subsection 25(1) or (2), as the case may be; or

(c) new information indicates that a deposit authorized under section 24 has had or is likely to have an effect on fish, fish habitat or the use by man of fish that is more adverse than the worst of those effects that were anticipated when that authorization was issued.

Progress reports

(2) The authorization officer may revoke the transitional authorization if

(a) the holder has not sent a progress report in accordance with subsection 25(3); or

(b) the authorization officer, based on a progress report referred to in subsection 25(3), has reasonable grounds to believe that the proposed plan in question cannot be fully implemented before the end of the period of authorization.

Representations

(3) The authorization officer may not revoke the transitional authorization unless the authorization officer has provided the holder with

(a) written reasons for the proposed revocation; and

(b) an opportunity to be heard, by written representation, in respect of the proposed revocation.

TEMPORARY AUTHORIZATION TO DEPOSIT UN-IONIZED AMMONIA

Requirements and Duration

Requirements

29. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system — whose effluent deposited via its final discharge point, during a given quarter or month determined in accordance with subsection 4(2), does not meet the condition referred to in paragraph 4(1)(d) — may apply to an authorization officer for a temporary authorization to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia via its final discharge point if

(a) any acute lethality of the effluent is due only to the presence of the un-ionized ammonia in the effluent;

(b) the maximum concentration referred to in paragraph 4(1)(d), as determined in accordance with subsection 4(3), was greater than or equal to 1.25 mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N) at 15°C ± 1°C, for, as the case may be, the two consecutive quarters or months immediately before the month in which the application was made; and

(c) the concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the water at any point that is 100 m from the point of entry where effluent is deposited in that water via the final discharge point is less than or equal to 0.016 mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N), as determined in accordance with the following formula:

Formula - concentration of un-ionized ammonia

where

total ammonia is the concentration of total ammonia in that water — namely un-ionized ammonia (NH3) plus ionized ammonia (NH4+) — determined in accordance with subsection 11(2), expressed in mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N), as if that water were effluent,

pKa is 0.09018 + 2729.92/T, where T is ambient water temperature in kelvin (degrees in Celsius + 273), and

pH is the pH of that water determined in accordance with subsection 11(3), as if that water were effluent.

Periods for application

(2) An initial application for a temporary authorization to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia must be made by the day that is 18 months after the day on which these Regulations are registered. Successive applications to renew the temporary authorization must be made at least 90 days before the expiry of the authorization in question.

Application

Required information

30. An application for a temporary authorization to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia, or for a renewal of that temporary authorization, must contain the following information:

(a) the owner’s name, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number;

(b) the operator’s name, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number;

(c) the name, title, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number, of a contact person;

(d) if applicable, the wastewater system’s name and civic address;

(e) the information set out in paragraph 16(1)(e) for the final discharge point;

(f) the results of the determination of acute lethality referred to in paragraph 29(1)(a), including, for each sample on which that determination was based, the information referred to in section 8.1 of the Reference Method EPS 1/RM/13 and, if the acute lethality of the effluent was determined in accordance with that method and the Procedure for pH Stabilization EPS 1/RM/50, section 3 of that procedure;

(g) the information that establishes that, at the time of the application, any acute lethality of the effluent is due only to the presence of the un-ionized ammonia in the effluent;

(h) the maximum concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the effluent deposited via the final discharge point, determined in accordance with subsection 4(3), for the two consecutive quarters or months determined in accordance with subsection 4(2), immediately before the month in which the application is made;

(i) the concentration of un-ionized ammonia determined in accordance with the formula set out in paragraph 29(1)(c) in the water in four samples taken, at the same time on or about midday during the month of August, from a depth of not more than one metre below four points on the surface of the water — each of which is 100 m from the point of entry where effluent is deposited in that water via the final discharge point — that are equidistant from each other with the maximum distance between each of those four points but, if that water is a watercourse, the four points must be downstream from that point of entry; and

(j) a statement signed and dated by the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, that certifies that

(i) the information provided in the application was prepared by persons with the knowledge required to determine the truthfulness, accuracy and completeness of the information, and

(ii) to the best of their information and belief, based on representations made to them by those persons in response to queries concerning that determination, the information provided is true, accurate and complete.

Conditions of Issuance

Required information

31. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the authorization officer must issue a temporary authorization to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia for a period of three years from the date of issuance if

(a) the application contains the information referred to in section 30; and

(b) the owner or operator has established under paragraph 30(g) that, at the time of the application, any acute lethality of the effluent was due only to the presence of the un-ionized ammonia in the effluent.

Refusal

(2) The authorization officer must refuse to issue the temporary authorization if the authorization officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the information contained in, or provided in support of, the application is false or misleading.

Compliance Obligations

General

32. A holder of a temporary authorization to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia must, during the period of authorization,

(a) deposit effluent that satisfies the conditions referred to in paragraphs 4(1)(a) to (c);

(b) deposit effluent that has a concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the water at any point — that is 100 m from the point of entry where effluent is deposited in that water via the final discharge point — that is less than or equal to 0.016 mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N), determined in accordance with the formula set out in paragraph 29(1)(c); and

(c) comply with sections 5 to 7, 9 to 11, 13 to 19 and 40 to 43.

Scope of Temporary Authorization and Revocation

Period and content

33. (1) A temporary authorization to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia must contain the following information in the form set out in Schedule 6:

(a) the information referred to in paragraphs 30(a) to (d);

(b) for the final discharge point, the information referred to in paragraph 16(1)(e);

(c) the date of issuance and, if applicable, the date of renewal;

(d) the period of authorization; and

(e) a statement that the concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the water at any point — that is 100 m from the point of entry where effluent is deposited in that water via the final discharge point — must be less than or equal to 0.016 mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N), determined in accordance with the formula set out in paragraph 29(1)(c).

Renewal

(2) The temporary authorization may, on application, be renewed for successive periods of three years.

Correction of information

34. (1) If the information provided in an application for a temporary authorization to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia contains errors, the owner or operator must, without delay, send a notice to the authorization officer that indicates the reason for the errors and provides information that corrects them and make the certification under paragraph 30(j) with respect to the application as amended by those corrections.

Corrected temporary authorization

(2) On receipt of a notice that corrects information that — if that corrected information had been provided with the application — would have affected the information contained in the temporary authorization referred to in section 33, the authorization officer must issue a corrected temporary authorization as if the corrections together with the remaining information originally provided in the application were an application under section 30.

Revocation

35. (1) The authorization officer must revoke the temporary authorization to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia under the following circumstances:

(a) the information contained in the application is false or misleading;

(b) the holder has, during the period of authorization, failed to comply with paragraph 32(a) or (b) or any section referred to in paragraph 32(c); or

(c) new information indicates that a temporary authorization under section 33 has had or is likely to have an effect on fish, fish habitat or the use by man of fish that is more adverse than the worst of those effects that were anticipated when that authorization was issued.

Representations

(2) The authorization officer may not revoke the temporary authorization unless the authorization officer has provided the holder with

(a) written reasons for the proposed revocation; and

(b) an opportunity to be heard, by written representation, in respect of the proposed revocation.

TEMPORARY BYPASS AUTHORIZATION

Requirements

Deposit without treatment

36. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system may apply to an authorization officer for a temporary authorization to bypass the normal routes for the flow of wastewater within the system to deposit in any water or place referred to in subsection 36(3) of the Act effluent that contains any deleterious substance referred to in section 3 that has not been subject to at least one of the treatment processes normally applied to wastewater in the system.

Conditions precedent

(2) An application for a temporary bypass authorization may not be made unless

(a) the requirement to bypass the normal routes for the flow of wastewater within the system arises from the construction of changes to, or the maintenance of, the system; and

(b) the bypass is designed, in light of what is technically and economically feasible, to minimize the volume of effluent deposited and the concentration of deleterious substances prescribed in section 3 in the effluent deposited.

Period for application

(3) An application for a temporary bypass authorization must be made at least 45 days before the day on which the construction or the maintenance is scheduled to begin.

Application

Required information

37. An application for a temporary bypass authorization must contain the following information:

(a) the owner’s name, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number;

(b) the operator’s name, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number;

(c) the name, title, civic and postal addresses, telephone number and, if any, email address and fax number, of a contact person;

(d) if applicable, the wastewater system’s name and civic address;

(e) an explanation of how the bypass is designed to minimize the volume of effluent deposited and the concentration of deleterious substances prescribed in section 3 in the effluent deposited during the construction or maintenance work, including a description of, and proposed schedule for, all steps that are to be taken to achieve that minimization;

(f) the information set out

(i) in paragraph 16(1)(e), if the bypass results in the deposit of effluent via the final discharge point of the wastewater system, or

(ii) in paragraph 16(1)(f), if the bypass takes wastewater from the wastewater system at an overflow point for deposit in any water or place referred to in subsection 36(3) of the Act;

(g) the period for which the authorization is required in order to allow for the completion of the construction or maintenance referred to in paragraph 36(2)(a);

(h) the duration, expressed in hours, of the deposits referred to in paragraph (f);

(i) the estimated volume, expressed in m3, of those deposits; and

(j) a statement signed and dated by the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, that certifies that

(i) the information provided in the application was prepared by persons with the knowledge required to determine the truthfulness, accuracy and completeness of the information, and

(ii) to the best of their information and belief, based on representations made to them by those persons in response to queries concerning that determination, the information provided is true, accurate and complete.

Issuance

Content of authorization

38. A temporary bypass authorization must be issued for a period that is sufficient to allow for the completion of the construction or maintenance referred to in paragraph 36(2)(a) and the authorization must contain the following information in the form set out in Schedule 7:

(a) the information referred to in paragraphs 37(a) to (d) and (f);

(b) the date of issuance; and

(c) the period of authorization.

Correction of information

39. (1) If the information provided in an application for a temporary bypass authorization contains errors, the owner or operator must, without delay, send a notice to the authorization officer that indicates the reason for the errors and provides information that corrects them and make the certification under paragraph 37(j) with respect to the application as amended by those corrections.

Corrected authorization

(2) On receipt of a notice that corrects information that — if that corrected information had been provided with the application — would have affected the information contained in the temporary authorization referred to in section 38, the authorization officer must issue a corrected temporary authorization as if the corrections together with the remaining information originally provided in the application were an application under section 37.

GENERAL

Electronic applications

40. (1) An application for a transitional authorization or a temporary authorization must be sent electronically in the format specified by the Minister and must bear the electronic signature of the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative.

Paper

(2) If the Minister has not specified an electronic format or if it is not feasible to send the application electronically in accordance with subsection (1) because of circumstances beyond the control of the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, the application must be sent on paper, signed by the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, and in the format specified by the Minister. However, if no format has been so specified, it may be in any format.

Registry of authorizations

41. The Minister must maintain a registry, for examination by the public, that contains a copy of each transitional authorization, each temporary authorization to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia and each temporary bypass authorization that has been issued under this Part, as they may be modified from time to time, and that has not been revoked.

PART 3

DEPOSIT OUT OF THE NORMAL COURSE OF EVENTS

Response plan

42. (1) The owner or operator of a wastewater system must prepare a response plan that describes the measures to be taken to prevent any deposit out of the normal course of events of effluent that contains a deleterious substance from the wastewater system into any water or place referred to in subsection 36(3) of the Act, and to mitigate or remedy the effects of any such deposit that may occur.

Required information

(2) The plan must contain the following information:

(a) the identification of any deposit out of the normal course of events that may reasonably be expected to occur from the wastewater system and that may reasonably be expected to result in damage or danger to fish habitat or fish or the use by man of fish, and the identification of the damage or danger;

(b) a description of the measures to be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to a deposit identified under paragraph (a);

(c) a list of the individuals who are to implement the plan in the event of a deposit out of the normal course of events and a description of their roles and responsibilities;

(d) the identification of the response training required for, and received by, each of those individuals;

(e) a list of the response equipment included as part of the plan and the equipment’s location; and

(f) a description of alerting and notification procedures including the measures to be taken to notify members of the public who may be adversely affected by a deposit identified under paragraph (a) and to inform them of those measures and of what to do in the event of such a deposit.

Completion and availability for inspection

(3) The owner or operator of a wastewater system must complete the response plan within 45 days after the day on which the wastewater system becomes subject to this section and make it available for inspection as of the day on which it is completed.

Availability

(4) The owner or operator must, as of the day on which it is completed, make the response plan readily available on site to persons who are to implement the plan.

Updating and testing

(5) The response plan must be updated and tested at least once each year.

Notice and report

43. (1) Any person required by subsection 38(4) of the Act to report the occurrence of a deposit out of the normal course of events of effluent that contains a deleterious substance, or a serious and imminent danger of the occurrence of such a deposit, must

(a) immediately notify an inspector — or a person providing 24-hour emergency telephone service provided by the office set out in column 2 of Schedule 8 for the province, set out in column 1, where the wastewater system is located at the telephone number set out in column 3 — that the deposit has occurred or that there is a serious and imminent danger of its occurrence;

(b) include in that notification a statement, if they have reason to believe it is true, that that deposit, or that serious and imminent danger of that deposit, is — or would be, if it occurred — acutely lethal; and

(c) send a report — as soon as is feasible but not later than 45 days after notifying the inspector or the person referred to in paragraph (a) — that contains the information set out in subsection (2) to the inspector, or the person holding the position referred to in column 2 of Schedule 9 for the province, set out in column 1, where the wastewater system is located.

Required information

(2) The report must contain the following information:

(a) an indication of whether the notification referred to in paragraph (1)(a) was made and, if so, whether the statement referred to in paragraph (1)(b) was made and, if so, the basis upon which the deposit was believed to be acutely lethal;

(b) the circumstances of the deposit or serious and imminent danger of the deposit, the measures that were taken to prevent, mitigate or remedy, as the case may be, its effects and, if the response plan was implemented, details concerning its implementation; and

(c) if the deposit out of the normal course of events occurred, if possible,

(i) the name of any deleterious substance that was deposited and the concentration, in mg/L, of each such deleterious substance in the effluent by which it was deposited,

(ii) an estimate of the volume, in m3, of the effluent and an indication of how the estimate was made,

(iii) the identification of all points of the wastewater system from which wastewater was discharged from the wastewater system before that deposit occurred,

(iv) the identification of all points of entry at which effluent containing that deleterious substance was deposited in any water or place referred to in subsection 36(3) of the Act, and

(v) a description of each location of those waters or places where effluent is deposited and the name, if any, of those waters or places.

Electronic report

(3) The report referred to in paragraph (1)(c) must be sent electronically in the format specified by the Minister and must bear the electronic signature of the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative.

Paper

(4) If the Minister has not specified an electronic format or if it is not feasible to send the report electronically in accordance with subsection (3) because of circumstances beyond the control of the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, the report must be sent on paper, signed by the owner or operator, or their duly authorized representative, and in the format specified by the Minister. However, if no format has been so specified, it may be in any format.

COMING INTO FORCE

On registration

44. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), these Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

24 months after registration

(2) Sections 4, 14, 24, 25, 32 and 36 to 43 come into force 24 months after the day on which these Regulations are registered.

January 1, 2014 — paragraph 4(1)(c) in relation to certain owners or operators

(3) Despite subsection (2), paragraph 4(1)(c) comes into force on January 1, 2014 in relation to an owner or operator of a wastewater system that during a given quarter or month determined in accordance with subsection 4(2) had an annual average daily volume of effluent deposited via its final discharge point that was less than 5 000 m3 during the year that ended before that quarter or month.

SCHEDULE 1
(Section 1)

AUTHORIZATION OFFICERS



Item

Column 1

Province

Column 2

Position

1.

Ontario

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Ontario Environment Canada

2.

Quebec

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Quebec Environment Canada

3.

Nova Scotia

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Atlantic Environment Canada

4.

New Brunswick

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Atlantic Environment Canada

5.

Manitoba

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Prairie and Northern Environment Canada

6.

British Columbia

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Pacific and Yukon Environment Canada

7.

Prince Edward Island

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Atlantic Environment Canada

8.

Saskatchewan

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Prairie and Northern Environment Canada

9.

Alberta

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Prairie and Northern Environment Canada

10.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Atlantic Environment Canada

11.

Yukon

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Pacific and Yukon Environment Canada

SCHEDULE 2
(Section 1 and subsections 14(4) and (6))

ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS MONITORING

INTERPRETATION

1. The following definitions apply in this Schedule.

“effect of concern on the benthic invertebrate community” means a statistically significant difference between data for indicators referred to in clause 5(a)(i)(A) from a study comparing benthic invertebrate communities conducted in

(a) an exposure area and a reference area where the absolute value of that difference between the means for each of those indicators for the exposure area and for the reference area is greater than or equal to two standard deviations of the data for that indicator for the reference area; or

(b) sampling areas within an exposure area that have gradually decreasing effluent concentrations. (effet préoccupant sur la communauté d’invertébrés benthiques)

“effect of concern on the fish population” means a statistically significant difference between data for indicators referred to in subparagraph 5(a)(ii) from a study comparing fish populations conducted in

(a) an exposure area and a reference area where the absolute value for the difference between the exposure area mean and the reference area mean

(i) for the indicator of condition mentioned in that subparagraph is greater than or equal to 10% of the reference area mean for that indicator, and

(ii) for each other indicator mentioned in that subparagraph is greater than or equal to 25% of the reference area mean for that other indicator; or

(b) sampling areas within an exposure area that have gradually decreasing effluent concentrations. (effet préoccupant sur la population de poissons)

“exposure area” means fish habitat and water frequented by fish that are exposed to effluent. (zone exposée)

“fish” has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Act but does not include parts of fish, parts of shellfish, parts of crustaceans or parts of marine animals. (poisson)

“reference area” means water frequented by fish that is not exposed to effluent but that has fish habitat that is, insofar as possible, most similar to that of the exposure area. (zone de référence)

“sampling area” means the area within a reference or exposure area where representative samples are collected. (zone d’échantillonnage)

PART 1

WATER QUALITY MONITORING

STUDIES

2. (1) Water quality monitoring studies are conducted by

(a) collecting samples of water from

(i) the exposure area surrounding the point of entry where effluent is deposited in water via the final discharge point of a wastewater system in water and from the related reference areas, and

(ii) the sampling areas that are selected under paragraph 8(a) and subsubclause 12(d)(i)(B)(III)2;

(b) recording — for the exposure area, and for the reference area, where the samples are collected — the temperature, pH and dissolved oxygen concentration of the water and, for fresh water, its conductivity;

(c) recording the concentration of the following substances:

(i) total ammonia,

(ii) nitrate,

(iii) nitrite,

(iv) total phosphorus,

(v) alkylphenol ethoxylates,

(vi) ethinylestradiol,

(vii) 17β-estradiol, and

(viii) estrone; and

(d) implementing quality assurance and quality control measures that will ensure the accuracy of water quality monitoring data.

(2) Water quality monitoring studies must — after December 31 of the calendar year during which it has been determined that subsection 14(1) of the Regulations applies — be conducted

(a) two times per calendar year but at least one month after any previous study on the samples of water collected from the areas referred to in subparagraph (1)(a)(i); and

(b) when the biological monitoring studies are conducted under Part 2, on samples of water collected in the areas referred to in subparagraph (1)(a)(ii).

REPORTS

3. A report on the water quality monitoring studies conducted during a calendar year must be sent to the authorization officer not later than March 31 of the following year and must contain the following information:

(a) the date on which each sample was collected for water quality monitoring;

(b) the latitude and longitude of the sampling areas used for water quality monitoring, in degrees, minutes and seconds, and a description that is sufficiently precise to identify the location of those areas;

(c) the results of the water quality monitoring; and

(d) the laboratory method detection limits.

PART 2

BIOLOGICAL MONITORING

STUDIES

4. Biological monitoring studies consist of

(a) a study respecting the benthic invertebrate community; and

(b) a study respecting the fish population, if the results of a previous study indicate an effect of concern on the benthic invertebrate community.

STRUCTURE OF STUDIES

5. Biological monitoring studies are conducted by

(a) collecting data to calculate the mean, the median, the standard deviation, the standard error and the minimum and maximum values in the sampling areas for the following indicators:

(i) in the case of a study respecting the benthic invertebrate community,

(A) the total benthic invertebrate density, the evenness index, taxa richness, and the similarity index, and

(B) if it is possible to sample sediment where the study was conducted, the total organic carbon content of sediment and the particle size distribution of sediment,

(ii) in the case of a study respecting the fish population, indicators of growth, of reproduction, of condition and of survival that include, insofar as possible, the length, total body weight and age of the fish, the weight of the liver or hepatopancreas and, if the fish are sexually mature, the egg size, fecundity and gonad weight of the fish;

(b) in the case of a study of effects on the fish population, collecting data to determine the sex of the fish sampled and whether they have any lesions, tumours, parasites or other abnormalities;

(c) analyzing whether the results of the calculations made under clause (a)(i)(A) and subparagraph (a)(ii) indicate, as between the sampling areas, an effect of concern on, respectively,

(i) the benthic invertebrate community, and

(ii) the fish population; and

(d) making a statistical analysis of the results of the calculations made under clause (a)(i)(A) and subparagraph (a)(ii) to estimate the probability of the correct detection of an effect of a pre-defined size and the degree of confidence that can be placed in the calculations.

DIVISION 1

THE FIRST BIOLOGICAL MONITORING STUDY

Study Design

6. Before the first biological monitoring study is conducted, a study design must be sent in accordance with section 9 and must contain

(a) a site characterization that includes the information required by section 7;

(b) a description of how the study respecting the benthic invertebrate community will be conducted that includes

(i) the information referred to in paragraphs 8(a) to (d), and

(ii) a description of how the study will provide the information necessary to determine if the effluent has an effect of concern on the benthic invertebrate community;

(c) the dates on which the samples will be collected;

(d) a description of the quality assurance and quality control measures that will be implemented to ensure the validity of the data that are collected; and

(e) a summary of the results of any previous biological monitoring studies that were conducted respecting the benthic invertebrate community.

7. A site characterization must include the following information:

(a) a description of the manner in which the effluent mixes with the water within the exposure area, including an estimate of the percentage of effluent in the water referred to in subsection 14(1) of the Regulations;

(b) a description of the reference and exposure areas where the biological monitoring studies will be conducted, including information on the geological, hydrological, chemical and biological — and, as the case may be, the oceanographical or the limnological — features of those areas;

(c) a description of any anthropogenic, natural or other factors that are not related to the effluent under study and that may reasonably be expected to contribute to any observed effect;

(d) a description of the types of treatment processes used by the wastewater system; and

(e) any additional information relevant to the site characterization.

8. A study respecting the benthic invertebrate community must include a description of and the scientific rationale for

(a) the sampling areas selected, taking into account the benthic invertebrate diversity and the area most exposed to effluent;

(b) the sample size selected;

(c) the sampling period selected; and

(d) the field and laboratory methodologies selected.

Sending

9. The first study design must be sent to the authorization officer by December 31, 2014.

Conduct of Study

10. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the first biological monitoring study must not begin before the day that is six months after the day on which the study design was sent and must be conducted in accordance with that study design.

(2) If it is not feasible to conduct the first biological monitoring study in accordance with the study design because of circumstances beyond the owner’s or operator’s control, the owner or operator may deviate from the study design but must inform the authorization officer without delay of those circumstances and of how the study was or is to be conducted.

First Interpretive Report

11. Within 24 months after the day referred to in section 9, the owner or operator must send to the authorization officer an interpretive report on the first biological monitoring study that contains the following information:

(a) a description of any deviation from the study design that occurred while the biological monitoring study was being conducted and any impact that the deviation had on the study;

(b) the latitude and longitude of the sampling areas, in degrees, minutes and seconds, and a description of the sampling areas that is sufficiently precise to identify the location of those areas;

(c) the dates on which samples were collected;

(d) the sample sizes;

(e) the results obtained under section 5 and any supporting raw data;

(f) based on those results, the identification of any effect of concern on the benthic invertebrate community;

(g) the conclusions of the biological monitoring study, taking into account

(i) the presence of anthropogenic, natural or other factors that are not related to the effluent under study and that may reasonably be expected to contribute to any observed effect,

(ii) the results of the analyses conducted under paragraphs 5(c) and (d), and

(iii) a description of the quality assurance or quality control measures that were implemented and the data related to the implementation of those measures;

(h) a description of how the results of the first biological monitoring study will affect the study design for the second biological monitoring study; and

(i) the date on which the second biological monitoring study will be conducted.

DIVISION 2

SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT BIOLOGICAL MONITORING STUDIES

Study Designs

12. The study design for a second or any subsequent biological monitoring study must be sent to the authorization officer at least six months before the second or subsequent biological monitoring study is conducted and it must contain the following information:

(a) a summary of the information referred to in paragraph 6(a) and a detailed description of any changes to that information since the most recent study design was sent;

(b) the information described in paragraphs 6(b) to (e) in relation to the second or subsequent biological monitoring study in question;

(c) a summary of the results of any biological monitoring studies that were conducted under section 14 of the Regulations respecting the benthic invertebrate community and the fish population; and

(d) in respect of the previous biological monitoring study,

(i) if the results of that previous study indicate an effect of concern on the benthic invertebrate community,

(A) a description of a subsequent study that is to be conducted to confirm that effect, and

(B) a description of a fish population study that is to be conducted to determine whether the effluent has an effect of concern on the fish population, including

(I) an explanation of how the information described in paragraphs 11(a) to (i) in relation to the fish population study of that previous biological monitoring study affects that description,

(II) a description of how the study will provide the information necessary to determine if the effluent has an effect of concern on the fish population, and

(III) a description of and the scientific rationale for

1. the fish species selected, taking into account the abundance of the species most exposed to effluent,

2. the sampling areas selected,

3. the dates on which samples will be collected,

4. the sample size selected, and

5. the field and laboratory methodologies selected; or

(ii) if the results of that previous study do not indicate an effect of concern on the benthic invertebrate community, a description of a subsequent study to confirm the absence of such an effect.

Conduct of Studies

13. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the second or any subsequent biological monitoring study must be conducted in accordance with the study design for it.

(2) If it is not feasible to conduct a second or subsequent biological monitoring study in accordance with the study design because of circumstances beyond the owner’s or operator’s control, the owner or operator may deviate from the study design but must inform the authorization officer without delay of those circumstances and of how the study was or is to be conducted.

Second or Subsequent Interpretive Report

14. (1) Within 36 months after the day on which the interpretive report on the previous biological monitoring study was sent, the owner or operator must send to the authorization officer an interpretive report on the second or subsequent biological monitoring study, as the case may be, and it must contain the information described in paragraphs 11(a) to (i) in relation to that second or subsequent study, including the identification of any effect of concern on

(a) the benthic invertebrate community; and

(b) the fish population.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1) in relation to

(a) that second study, a reference in paragraphs 11(a) to (i) to the “first biological monitoring study” is to be read as a reference to the “second biological monitoring study” and a reference in those paragraphs to the “second biological monitoring study” is to be read as the “subsequent (third) biological monitoring study”; and

(b) that subsequent (third) study, a reference in those paragraphs to the “first biological monitoring study” is to be read as a reference to the “third biological monitoring study” and a reference in those paragraphs to the “second biological monitoring study” is to be read as the “subsequent (fourth) biological monitoring study”.

PART 3

GENERAL

15. (1) Despite paragraph 2(2)(a), if there is no effect of concern on the benthic invertebrate community and no effect of concern on the fish population reported in two successive interpretive reports under sections 11 and 14 or under section 14, as the case may be, no subsequent water quality monitoring study and no subsequent biological monitoring study need be conducted.

(2) For the purpose of subsection (1), if the owner or operator is not required to conduct a study respecting the fish population under paragraph 4(b), the effluent is considered to have no effect of concern on the fish population.

SCHEDULE 3
(Subsection 21(5), section 22 and subsection 23(2))

SYSTEM OF POINTS — FINAL DISCHARGE POINT

INTERPRETATION

Definitions

1. The following definitions apply in this Schedule.

“bulk flow ratio” means the ratio of the average annual rate of flow of a watercourse to the average annual flow of effluent that is deposited in that river. (coefficient de débit brut)

“enclosed bay” includes fjords and, if there is limited water exchange from a strait to the open ocean, that strait. (baie fermée)

“marine port waters” means the waters of a well-flushing sea port. (eaux d’un port maritime)

“open marine waters”, in relation to a final discharge point, means salt waters in an area defined by an arc of 135° extending 20 km from the final discharge point, if there is no land within that area. (eaux marines libres)

TABLE



Item

Column 1

Averages and Water

Column 2

Characteristics

Column 3

Points

1.

Annual average daily volume of effluent, expressed in m3, deposited during the year in question

(a) > 10 and ≤ 500

(b) > 500 and ≤ 2 500

(c) > 2 500 and ≤ 17 500

(d) > 17 500 and ≤ 50 000

(e) > 50 000

5 points

10 points

15 points

25 points

35 points

2.

Average carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD) due to the quantity of biochemical oxygen demanding matter in the effluent, and average concentration of suspended solids (SS) in the effluent, both expressed in mg/L, deposited during the year in question

(CBOD + SS)/5

points as per formula in column 2

3.

Average concentration of total residual chlorine, expressed in mg/L, deposited during the year in question

> 0.02

10 points

4.

Average annual concentration of un-ionized ammonia, expressed in mg/L as nitrogen (N), deposited during the year in question

≥ 1.25 at 15°C ± 1°C

20 points

5.

Water where effluent is deposited via the final discharge point (highest value of any that apply)

(a) open marine waters

(b) marine port waters

(c) lake, reservoir

(d) enclosed bay, marine estuary

(e) watercourse with bulk flow ratio >100

(f) watercourse with bulk flow ratio ≥10 and ≤100

(g) watercourse with bulk flow ratio <10

(h) shellfish harvesting area within 500 m of the point of entry where effluent is deposited in the water via the final discharge point

5 points

10 points

20 points

20 points


15 points


20 points



25 points


20 points

SCHEDULE 4
(Subsection 21(5), section 22 and subsection 23(2))

SYSTEM OF POINTS — COMBINED SEWER OVERFLOW POINTS



Item

Column 1

Factors

Column 2

Criteria

Column 3

Points

1.

The percentage of the cross-sectional area of the combined sewer at the overflow point that has wastewater during dry weather

(a) ≥ 50%

(b) ≥ 25% and < 50%

(c) ≥ 10% and < 25%

(d) < 10%

30 points

20 points

10 points

5 points

2.

The number of deposits via the overflow point during the year in question

(a) > 25 deposits

(b) > 15 deposits and ≤ 25 deposits

(c) > 5 deposits and ≤ 15 deposits

(d) 5 deposits or less

30 points

20 points 

10 points

 

0 points

3.

Water where effluent is deposited via each overflow point (the sum of points for all that apply)

(a) shellfish harvesting area within 500 m of any point of entry where effluent is deposited in the water via the overflow point

(b) endangered species or fish spawning area within 500 m downstream from any point of entry where effluent is deposited in the water via the overflow point

(c) lake, reservoir, marine estuary, or enclosed bay as defined in section 1 to Schedule 3

20 points




10 points





10 points

SCHEDULE 5
(Section 26)

TRANSITIONAL AUTHORIZATION

[Name and address of owner or operator]

Name of owner:

Address of owner:

 

Name of operator:

Address of operator:

in respect of [name and address of wastewater system]

Name of wastewater system:

Address of wastewater system:

(a) is/are hereby authorized as of [date] __________ to deposit effluent that contains the deleterious substances set out below until [date] __________ from [identify final discharge point] __________.

Deleterious Substance

Maximum Authorized Average Concentration over the Quarter or Month

Maximum Authorized Concentration

biochemical oxygen demanding matter (BOD)

mg/L of carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand

not applicable

suspended solids (SS)

mg/L

not applicable

un-ionized ammonia (NH3)

not applicable

mg/L, as nitrogen (N) at 15°C ± 1°C

(b) is (are) authorized as of [date] __________ to deposit acutely lethal effluent until [date] __________ from [identify final discharge point] __________. [If applicable]

IMPORTANT: Please refer to section 24 of the Regulations for the conditions related to this authorization and section 25 of the Regulations for the compliance obligations for this authorization. In addition, please note that this authorization may be revoked under section 28 of the Regulations.

Authorization Officer:
[Signature]
[Name]
[Title]
Date:

SCHEDULE 6
(Section 33)

TEMPORARY AUTHORIZATION TO DEPOSIT EFFLUENT THAT CONTAINS UN-IONIZED AMMONIA

[Name and address of owner or operator]

Name of owner:

Address of owner:

 

Name of operator:

Address of operator:

in respect of [name and address of wastewater system]

Name of wastewater system:

Address of wastewater system:

is (are) authorized, as of [date] __________, to deposit effluent that contains un-ionized ammonia until [date] __________ from [identify final discharge point] __________ if the concentration of un-ionized ammonia in the water at any time and at any point that is 100 m from the point of entry where effluent is deposited in that water via the final discharge point is less than or equal to 0.016 mg/L, expressed as nitrogen (N).

IMPORTANT: Please refer to section 32 of the Regulations for the compliance obligations for this authorization. In addition, please note that this authorization may be revoked under section 35 of the Regulations.

Authorization Officer:
[Signature]
[Name]
[Title]
Date:

SCHEDULE 7
(Section 38)

BYPASS AUTHORIZATION

[Name and address of owner or operator]

Name of owner:

Address of owner:

 

Name of operator:

Address of operator:

in respect of [name and address of wastewater system]

Name of wastewater system:

Address of wastewater system:

is (are) authorized, as of [date] __________ for [number of hours] __________ until [date] __________ to deposit effluent from [identify discharge point] __________.

Authorization Officer:
[Signature]
[Name]
[Title]
Date:

SCHEDULE 8
(Paragraph 43(1)(a))

NOTIFICATION OF DEPOSITS OUT OF THE NORMAL COURSE OF EVENTS

Item

Column 1


Province

Column 2


Office

Column 3

Telephone number

1.

Ontario

Spills Action Centre Ontario Ministry of the Environment

416-325-3000 or 1-800-268-6060*

2.

Quebec

Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Quebec Environment Canada

514-283-2333 or 1-866-283-2333*

3.

Nova Scotia

Maritimes Regional Office Canadian Coast Guard Fisheries and Oceans Canada

902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633*

4.

New Brunswick

Maritimes Regional Office Canadian Coast Guard Fisheries and Oceans Canada

902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633*

5.

Manitoba

Manitoba Department of Conservation

204-944-4888

6.

British Columbia

British Columbia Provincial Emergency Program Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

1-800-663-3456

7.

Prince Edward Island

Maritimes Regional Office Canadian Coast Guard Fisheries and Oceans Canada

902-426-6030 or 1-800-565-1633*

8.

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Ministry of the Environment

1-800-667-7525

9.

Alberta

Alberta Ministry of the Environment

780-422-4505 or 1-800-222-6514*

10.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Office Canadian Coast Guard Fisheries and Oceans Canada

709-772-2083 or 1-800-563-9089*

11.

Yukon

Yukon Department of the Environment

867-667-7244

* Telephone number accessible only within the respective province.

SCHEDULE 9
(Paragraph 43(1)(c))

PRESCRIBED PERSONS FOR REPORTING



Item

Column 1

Province

Column 2

Position

1.

Ontario

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Ontario Environment Canada

2.

Quebec

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Quebec Environment Canada

3.

Nova Scotia

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Atlantic Environment Canada

4.

New Brunswick

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Atlantic Environment Canada

5.

Manitoba

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Prairie and Northern Environment Canada

6.

British Columbia

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Pacific and Yukon Environment Canada

7.

Prince Edward Island

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Atlantic Environment Canada

8.

Saskatchewan

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Prairie and Northern Environment Canada

9.

Alberta

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Prairie and Northern Environment Canada

10.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Atlantic Environment Canada

11.

Yukon

Director, Environmental Protection Operations Directorate — Pacific and Yukon Environment Canada

[12-1-o]

Footnote 1
Surface water means any water or place referred to in subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act.

Footnote 2
Chambers et al. 1997. “The Impacts of Municipal Wastewater Effluents on Canadian Waters: A Review.” Water Quality Research Journal of Canada. Volume 32, No. 4, p. 659–713.

Footnote 3
Protozoans are single cell, microscopic organisms, some of which are parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium, which can cause outbreaks of disease.

Footnote 4
Environment Canada. 2001. “The State of Municipal Wastewater Effluents in Canada.” Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Footnote 5
Environment Canada estimate based on information from 949 wastewater systems across Canada.

Footnote 6
As defined in the proposed Regulations. 

Footnote 7
Fisheries Act, R.S., c. F-14, s. 1 

Footnote 8
Combined sewers collect both sanitary sewage and storm water in the same pipe. Modern practice is to separate these two collection systems since the volume of wastewater can exceed the capacity of treatment systems during significant wet weather events, resulting in overflows.

Footnote 9
The term “municipal wastewater effluent” is often used in reference to effluent from Canadian wastewater (sewage) systems since the majority are owned and operated by municipalities. For the purpose of this document the term “wastewater effluent” is used.

Footnote 10
Gagnon, M., V. Gaudreault, and D. Overton. 2008. “Age of Public Infrastructure: A Provincial Perspective.” Ottawa: Statistics Canada. 11-621-MIE2008067.

Footnote 11
Environment Canada. 2001. “The State of Municipal Wastewater Effluents in Canada.” Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Footnote 12
Environment Canada. 2007. “2007 Municipal Water Use Report.” Ottawa: Environment Canada. Cat. No. En11-2/2004E-PDF.

Footnote 13
Note that there is insufficient information to accurately assess the current state of wastewater treatment in Canada’s northern regions.

Footnote 14
Based on data from Environment Canada’s “2007 Municipal Water Use Report.”

Footnote 15
Environment Canada. 2007. “Proposed Regulatory Framework for Wastewater.” www.ec.gc.ca/eu-ww/default.asp?lang=En&n=0108BE25-1.

Footnote 16
Sawyer, D., Chung, L., and S. Renzetti. 2007. “Cost-Benefit Analysis for Cleaner Source Water.” Marbek Resource Consultants.

Footnote 17
The EFTG was tasked with addressing issues related to the costs of the CCME Strategy and funding options.

Footnote 18
Government of Canada. 1993. Chlorinated Wastewater Effluents Priority Substances List Assessment Report. www.ec.gc.ca/substances/ese/eng/PSAP/PSL1_chlorinated_WW_effluents.cfm.

Footnote 19
Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. 1999. Canadian water quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life: Reactive chlorine.

Footnote 20
See “Cost-Benefit Analysis for Cleaner Source Water,” Marbek Resource Consultants, 2007, p. 27, for further details. www.ccme.ca/assets/pdf/cba_source_water_1396.pdf. Available only in English.

Footnote 21
Ibid., p. 34

Footnote a
R.S., c. F-14